Is the habit of optimism worth your time? How can you cultivate the habit? Will it make a difference?
Optimism is the “best thing”
The word optimism derives from the Latin word optimum, which means “best thing.” Optimism instills hopefulness and confidence about the future. We can hold in our mind’s eye the successful outcome of some endeavor, large or small.
Being optimistic doesn’t mean we take on the world with blinders ignoring the realities that surround us. We can’t just sit in a cocoon oblivious waiting for some good fortune to show up at our doorstep.
Rather, I like to think of it as living life to the fullest and overflowing with a happy spirit. Every day brings struggles of some sort. But the question becomes, how do we approach the challenges?
Build an optimistic culture
Have you ever entered a meeting or a gathering of friends just to have the life sucked out of you the moment you entered the room? That’s the power of negativity, hopelessness, bitterness, and gossip.
What do you do if you find yourself trapped in a quagmire of pity and gloom? I start with myself—listening to my own words and thoughts. Only by reflecting on how I speak to myself and others can I begin to see my behavior through the eyes of those around me.
You may feel like one smile, one word of encouragement, one nugget of hope can never make a difference. One small stone tossed in a pool of water ripples across the surface.
A positive, optimistic culture grows as each person, maybe, just one person makes the effort to throw small stones of hope into a seemingly black, bottomless hole. One word, one smile, can and does ripple across the lives of those you encounter.
Three thoughts to carry with you today
I’m a keeper of quotes—in my journal, on random slips of paper, and, of all things, a spreadsheet. Here are three for today.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. Noam Chomsky
Optimism. It’s not just a mind-set, it is behavior. Larry Elder
Is the habit of optimism worth your time? Absolutely. It is at the core of doing our best work and living our best lives.
How can you cultivate the habit? One small action at a time.
Will it make a difference? You will see it in how you and others feel and approach the day. Living with hope and doing the “best thing” may not bring world peace. But, what if we all joined the effort?
Send me a note or share these ideas with others. And always—be and become #yourbest.