Be an optimist for success

Optimists Win- ALWAYS (and it promote’s growth)

I don’t mean the naïve optimists, but the tough ones.

What’s your focus?

It’s really about focus: what you focus on becomes your focus. Then, when you focus on the negative, your body, mind spirit become negative – and you negatively affect your environment.

When you focus on the positive, even a little bit, then your body, mind and spirit become (more positive) and you have a positive effect on the environment.

Let me give an example: a friend went to a presentation a few years ago and was very critical of the speaker. She went away vindicated of her judgement in her mind but upon reflection found her reaction to be very negative.  So, recently my colleague went to hear the speaker a second time and got curious and friendly, and now my colleague sees this presenter in a different light, all because she changed her attitude from negative to positive.  She got curious about the person presenting, and that made all the difference.

Getting curious is always good. Another way to remain positive is to focus on our why(s).

As we go into the month, let us remember the WHY we are doing things and if you find that your answer isn’t a good enough why, then, find something better to aim for.  If you really want to do something well, you need to believe in what you are doing. That gives you motivation of the best kind.

Also, here are a few tips to help you remain optimistic: 

1) Smile more.  

There is research that proves that if your carry your body in a certain way, it can change your mood. Smiling really makes you more positive. Ask Amy Cuddy.

2) Stand like Wonder Woman.  

No joke.  This activity also gives you the positive power and presence you might need today to get out there and “win one for the Gipper”.  Try it—but best perhaps at home or in the bathroom, not in front of those you will be presenting to.

3) Reframe the negative with gratitude.  

Being thankful for what you do have and what is good about your life is always a very good practice.  This alone can change your negativism.

4) Avoid Tribalism, if at all possible.

Now you say, “But finding your tribe is the new thing to do!”  Sort of yes, and yet, no, in the end.  We can, and should, learn and get energy from like-minded people.  And now her comes the big BUT:  We can’t ONLYhang out with and respect people only we like and who are like us.  Look at the above story about my friend: she took the chance and got to know someone who she felt was different from her, and now the two benefit from each other.  Don’t hide in your bunkers with people who are just like you, muttering “at-a-boy” to each other and discriminating those who are not like you.

That’s tribalism at its worst. To be philosophical, for me that’s one of the main problems with our western world (maybe the whole world?) at the moment.  I thought I was being original until recently I googled tribalism and found that there were tons of people talking about how we have to reach out to other people of all kinds, hear from them and not “other-ize”.  Try googling it, yourself.  The first couple of entries are definitions and a wiki, but after two or three entries you only find negative articles – from The GuardianWIREDThe AtlanticThe New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Conservative, Bloombergand many manymore.  Wow!  I thought I was being original- but I guess not.  It seems tribalism sucks.


Another friend would put it this way:  only by getting out of your comfort zone will you actually grow.  And thus, staying inside your tribe will, in the end, keep you from growing, and achieving what you could if you rub shoulders with people who are different from you.

Questions for reflection:

Finally, I want to leave you with questions that might help you to think about where are you are regarding optimism – and tribalism:  How often do you use the word “they” to separate yourself from another group of people? How often do you use “we” with people who are not like you?

I wish you a very optimistic month of growth!

Patricia Jehle