People ask what makes me optimistic. There’s a long list of facts and human advances that drive and reinforce my optimism. But the central thing that starts my day is an email and social media in-tray which includes people answering my question to them “what makes you optimistic?” I share those answers in various formats including social media, blogging and in books like this one.
Why don’t you try it? Ask a colleague, friend or family member “what makes you optimistic?”
Generally, they will be cheered by answering and considering their own case for optimism. So will you!
As the leadership author Megumi Miki said to me after I asked her the question, “Even being asked the question “What makes you optimistic?” caused me to look for the bright side, which is very uplifting. When you couple optimism with the courage to confront reality, it is a powerful force for positive change.”
Occasionally you have to persist. A father who followed my advice asked his wife and children what makes them optimistic. He sent me the answers from his wife and daughter but his 16-year-old son had told him to “Get XXXXXX”. I suggested he leave it a month or two.
Some people will say, nothing makes me optimistic! Maybe that’s true, they’re a pessimist. But if you persist without being annoying, they will eventually find some reason. Maybe share some of the reasons from Part 2 of my book "Optimism: The How and Why".
Early one morning I met an engineer in Delhi, India, who looked a little sad. I asked him the question to which he responded “nothing.” We talked a little longer including some reasons for optimism. The next morning at breakfast, I suddenly heard a large voice calling “Vince, Vince.” The engineer told me I had changed his whole day and his outlook for the fortnight in India.
He couldn’t remember my name but he remembered how I had made him feel.
So take a break from this website.
Go and ask someone “What makes you optimistic?” Face to face is best but a phone call or electronic message will work out! If the answer inspires, turn it into a poster and send it back to them.
Ask them if you can share it on social media and do so!
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