Practice Realistic Optimism

Practice Realistic Optimism

Go ahead. When you’re practicing realistic optimism it’s part of the process to identify and acknowledge the constraints.

Because there will be obstacles and issues. Bad stuff happens. We have dilemmas and barriers.

Nothing is perfect. Ever.

But don’t stop there!

What you do after you’ve identified the constraints makes all the difference.

Realistic Optimism

Here’s a short video by Caroline Webb on realistic optimism – please invest a few minutes to watch it!

(If you can’t see the video player click HERE to go to YouTube)

Identify the Wriggle Room!

Caroline Webb, Economist, and former McKinsey partner says,

“Acknowledge the constraints, then identify the wriggle room within and around them…”

This process is what she calls realistic optimism.

What is the ideal?

What’s the first step toward to ideal?

  • where have you succeeded before – use that!
  • how and what have you learned from past endeavors that you could translate to this?
  • who could help you get a step toward your ideal?

Optimists (realistic optimists according to Caroline Webb) get into discovery mode once they’ve acknowledged the constraints…

In which area do you need to enter discovery mode?

In which areas could you get out of your fight or flight mode and into discovery? Where can you identify the constraints and move on toward the ideal situation? Leave a comment!

On a personal note, perhaps one of the reasons I found this interesting is because of my values. Rob and I have identified three shared values as a couple: Loyalty, Optimism, and Discovery. We use our values when we make decisions. If you’re interested, you can read more about this idea of shared values and our value of discovery HERE.

Sticky Positive Thoughts

Sticky Positive Thoughts

What sticks in your brain? Have you ever heard a melody and it kept going ’round and ’round in your head for the rest of the day (or night)? If you like the song, then that’s OK – but if you don’t… well, it can drive you batty!

And it’s the same with our thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts we think are helpful for our behavior, and sometimes they aren’t.

Wouldn’t it be good to have sticky positive thoughts going ’round our head rather than those stinky negative ones?

Sticky Positive Thoughts

Let’s get some sticky positive thoughts into our brains… Do any of these resonate with you?

  1. I’m loved and wanted.
  2. My time will come – I can be happy when others succeed.
  3. God supplies all my needs.
  4. I am able and capable. I can.
  5. If I fail, I’ll fail forward.
  6. Positivity is my first choice.
  7. I’m thankful for all things.
  8. I have a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
  9. My goals are my focus – I don’t play the comparison game.
  10. If I’ve learned something then I’ve succeeded.
  11. Stopping to smell the roses is a joy in my life.
  12. When I give, I do it with my whole heart.
  13. Excellence is my calling.
  14. The peace of the Risen One abides with me.
  15. Challenges are opportunities to grow and improve.
  16. Feelings are not facts – I stop and think before I speak and act.
  17. I have all the time I need.
  18. Being organized is fun.
  19. I have hope for the future.
  20. I have great value.
  21. I’m thankful for now – I can see the joy in today.
  22. Prayer provides my strength.
  23. I invest in relationships by celebrating the little things.
  24. My waiting is never wasted.
  25. It’s OK to say “no”.

What do you say to yourself to think positive thoughts? Take a couple from the list above and write them down – put them in prominent places around your space to nudge you into optimisic thinking.

(I have three sentences on my night-table. They’re Scripture verses – ones that hold great meaning for me. They adjust my thinking when I find myself sliding into a negative spot.)

Find some sticky Positive Thoughts and nurture an optimistic outlook!

(It can’t hurt, can it?)

Optimism and  Achievement

Optimism and Achievement

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.

Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller

What an insightful quote from an amazing woman! I think we all can agree that Helen Keller’s ability to achieve, regardless of the social era and her physical challenges, is startling.

  • she was the first blind and deaf person to earn a bachelors degree in 1904
  • authored 12 books, an autobiography, and numerous articles
  • the originator of a non-profit foundation and a prominent role in the American Foundation for the Blind
  • a political and social activist
  • world traveler and speaker – visiting and speaking in more than 35 countries
  • reading English, French, Greek, and Latin in braille
  • received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • and more… (including being friends with Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Twain and meeting /conversing with 10 presidents.)

Just ponder these power words from her quote on optimism:

  • faith
  • achievement
  • hope
  • confidence

Helen Keller‘s life embodied these words! Read her biography and letters to understand more about her achievements.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.

What do you need to do to feel a sense of achievement?

How’s your sense of hope?

What’s your confidence level on a scale of 1 to 10?

Optimism = the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen.

Cambridge Dictionary

Find your optimism for what you need to achieve – and your hope and confidence will follow!

Achieving a goal.

I’m working on a goal. Am I confident I’ll achieve it? Hmm… I do hope so! Over the next 30 days (April 2019) I’m participating in a writing challenge and if I look at all Helen Keller achieved, I have no excuse whatsoever! So, I’ll adopt her attitude and begin.

Who inspires you?

Perhaps a mentor? Or a historical persona? Do you have people you’d like to emulate?

Leave a comment – let’s inspire each other!

Need more encouragement for achieving a goal? Below are few articles to prompt some optimism – click the links on the images.

Our view shapes our ability.

Our view shapes our ability.

Is it going to work out?

It depends:

Do you think it will?

Our view shapes our ability.


If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

Henry Ford

I’m not suggesting everything is possible, or everything will happen the way you think it will…

It isn’t. It won’t.

But.

But, if you start with the belief it won’t work out… it probably won’t.

Why? (here are few ideas – I’m guessing you’ll catch my drift.)

  • you won’t keep trying after the first negative, because you’ll feel like you were right about the end result not working.
  • the level of energy you’d bring to the experience will be decidedly less than if you believed it would work out. Why put energy into something you don’t view as possible?
  • chances are, those who would help you… won’t… if you don’t believe it’ll work out. Why should they? All they can hear are your complaints and doubts, and see you giving up.

Optimism shows up to change the game!

This is where optimism shows up to change the game because it changes our view.

And our view shapes our ability. If we believe we can…

We move forward, even if we’ve failed before. We try again if we believe it’s possible.

Others hear us talking about our task succeeding – they see us trying again and again – they experience how we reach out and ask for help… and they’re much more likely to help us!

We renew our energy for the task – by being our own best friend and take care of our self.

Optimism is a tool. Use it!

Optimism doesn’t change the world – but if we USE it as a tool in our own life, then we’ll start seeing the world around us change.

Overwhelmed? Don’t know what to do next? Read this!

Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. It starts with one.

Be thankful for the one. One step forward, one page written, one child encouraged, one heart strengthened, one person eating well, one bed made, one load of laundry folded, one desire fulfilled, one prayer answered, one smile, one…

Never underestimate the one thing.

Every book began with a page of writing, and every blog began with that first post. A relationship begins with a smile between two people. The knowledgable person began their journey with one item of information. New forests begin with one tree. (I was reminded by this post.) Revolutionary technology begins with an idea. Each business starts with one client.

One. It could be the start of something big!

I’m encouraging you to be thankful for one thing – that first item, or the next one thing on your list. Why? Because it has value. (And yes, I’m talking to myself also.)

It’s so easy to gloss over what you’ve already accomplished because you’re desperately focused on all you have yet to add to your resume.

Consider this tweet from Simon Sinek:

One way to appreciate the “joy of the start” is by being thankful.

Be thankful for the one thing.

I challenge you to write down what you’re thankful for – today. The one thing. Just one thing. What one action have you taken that holds value? (And value is subjective – you decide.) Here are some ideas on how to record it:

  • write it on your bathroom mirror (I like these kids’ washable crayons.)
  • use a sticky note and put it on your microwave (’cause we usually stand in front of it as we count down the seconds)
  • get the 365 gratitude app for your phone

Maybe you already do this “being thankful” in some form? 

If so…  YAY you!  Leave a comment on how you’ve developed being thankful – where do you record it? Do you add those items that you’re accomplishing?

Or leave a comment on what your ONE thing is that you’re thankful for doing today!

Let’s all celebrate – together – taking one action to move forward.

… and then record it again tomorrow.

And the day after.

Consistently.

Until your microwave is filled with sticky notes or your app has 365 notations, or you can’t see yourself in the bathroom mirror anymore because it’s so full of those “one” actions!

Be thankful for the one. It all begins with one thing - one action forward. Consistently. #positivethanksliving #positivity #optimism #thankfulness #gratitude

You can. Yes. It’s just that simple.

Do not wait for the right moment. Do it now.

Do not wait for the right moment. Do it now.

Wait. Hang on. Hold up. Pause.

Why? Why wait?

Will the moment ever be right? And if we’re waiting for that mythical just-right moment, how much will we miss?

(Oh, yeah. I’m preachin’ to the choir here. Waiting is my pass-time. I’ve spent 50+ years practicing the art of waiting. <sigh>)

“Do not wait for the right moment.”

NOW is the right moment.

Or it could be if we don’t let it pass.

Let’s get real here: sometimes it’s just laziness that has us waiting.

Or maybe it’s just me?

Am I the only one who is waiting and it’s not a good thing?

Let’s spark some urgency with a few questions:

Imagine all the good stuff we could miss out on…

  • What won’t be birthed if we wait?
  • Who will be impacted negatively if we pause?
  • Where won’t we go, should we hang back?
  • What won’t we experience if we sit tight?
  • And if not now… then when?

If not now… then when will the “right moment” come?

Probably never.

Take action. Do it NOW!

Imagine if you couldn’t fail – what would you do right now?

What if you could positively impact a whole group of people (or maybe just one precious soul). Where would you take action today?

There are amazing sights, sounds, fragrances and experiences about to be added to your history…

Go!

Do not wait for the right moment. DO IT NOW!

Benjamin Franklin didn’t wait.

I’m participating in a challenge to write every day – in this challenge I’ve also been reading other posts. The second item in a post on Benjamin Franklin sparked my thoughts today, “Benjamin Franklin never waited for the right moment. He took action when he had an idea… ”  I think we’d all agree that he accomplished quite a bit in his life. Right?

You are capable of so much.

Set yourself up for success. Choose something to pursue that will be easy to reach – at least in the beginning. And if you have a large goal in mind, then divide it into smaller bits and pieces. You are capable of SO much!

Do not wait for the mythical right moment - do it now #optimistic #thankful #positivethanksliving

Want to be prompted to be optimistic? #positive #thankful