21st Century Optimism

My working definition of optimism is believing, planning, and acting for tomorrow to be better than today. A synonym being hope. The ability to find and highlight the good in a negative situation is much more difficult than finding and highlighting the bad. The crowd identifies and targets the bad, while the exceptional discover and focus on the good. It is always easier to break something or someone down than it is to build them (back) up. Optimism is a choice, and generally not an easy one.

Mentally strong people do not sugar coat the current circumstances. They are brutally honest with the situation they find themselves in. They digest the facts about the status quo and then search, find, and project a view of a positive future so as to have something to look forward to and work for. I believe a leader in today’s world is one who is able to clearly communicate and act upon an improved version and vision of the world that does not yet exist.

Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it’s called leadership. -Ralph Marston

This is not a passive activity; searching for, finding, and sharing this positive view requires discipline-driven behavior (intentional-purposeful-skillful). This is not our default reaction to a bad situation; our default reaction being to pinpoint the negative and look to blame and complain. Acting to find and work towards a positive outcome is not always quickly or easily done. As a result, only the remarkable people in life do this. The ability to be optimistic in all situations in life is a rare skill. Recognize, embrace, and use this knowledge to be extraordinary.

Optimism is a skill that must be built and fostered. Choosing optimism is not always easy, don’t expect it to be. Our knee-jerk reaction is generally towards the negative view of a situation, and overcoming this reflex is challenging. Choosing to be optimistic is simple but not easy (https://supernovamindset.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/simple-does-not-mean-easy/). The mentally strong and extraordinary in our lives recognize the negative view and then select to find the positive in the future. Again, optimism is a choice. “Folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Happy people make it a point to make others happy. I believe that optimism and its radiant energy are extremely contagious. As a teacher, or anybody who works with others, this is one of the most important qualities that you can have. People buy into what you say AND do. Your audio must match your video- if you talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.

You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want to be great, be great with the small things in life. Choose to be optimistic, choose to be extraordinary.

Be Better Than Yesterday,


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