Thanks to the many business news-related projects we work on at Hammock Inc., we have some fairly big Internet pipes delivering to us a constant river of flowing business information. In our case, this flow tends to be more “macro” news — we’re not tracking markets or individual companies — but I’m still amazed with the ying and yang of business and economic news: and how reporters and analysts even feel the need to pair positive with negative. Perhaps this isn’t surprising: business is a marketplace of buyers and sellers. Perhaps there is no such thing as good or bad when every transaction needs a buyer and seller. And while I don’t always view business as a zero-sum-game, perhaps there is something necessary about always seeing the world as collisions of bears and bulls, optimism and pessimism, greed and fear.

As I write this post, for example, I can see news flowing by that consumer confidence fell sharply in January, but the next item reports that just-released numbers related to factory orders in December indicate they soared.

Data points. A river of data points. You can short it, long it. Believe it, deny it. Bottomline: Everyday brings opportunities. Everyday brings set-backs. It’s up to you to choose how to use that information.

How do I choose to handle the data? I do all I can to stay informed. I lean into news both good and bad. I look for opportunities. I prepare for the worse. In the long run, I believe in — or, at least hope for — the best. In the longer run, my goal is to leave more than I’ve used.