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Mystic at the Edge: Optimism

Author Morni Chen in Conversation at The Centre for Optimism

An extract from Maureen Chen's book "Mystic at the Edge" published July 2020

Optimism

The best leaders are infectious optimists and lead their teams to discover greater optimism, resilience and self-mastery."
Victor Perton

“Good Morning!!” my father would chirp in the mornings as we slowly started to come to life. I would pull the covers over my head pretending to be asleep, and wait for him to go to work before coming out to the breakfast room. He was too bright!

My mother too, was always singing doing the housework. I still remember the words to all those old songs like Nat King Cole’s A Bicycle Built for Two. Was I really such a young grump when both of them were so positive and cheery!

Events that are beyond our control are closing in on us - like Climate Change and Corona Virus. It is hard not to feel the fear and worry and a general ‘lowness’ that seems to be seeping into society.

Many of us have been trying to live consciously, avoiding misuse of resources, including antibiotics, in anticipation of these types of outcomes; however, there is only so much we can achieve without the willingness of ‘bigger players’.  Many are now at a loss at how to deal with these global crises, on top of their personal challenges. I fear that many feel overwhelmed.

In response, I have decided to ramp up my positivity and optimism and only share what can bring positive change. We do need to be aware of the innumerable injustices being inflicted on any living thing; however there is enough of that information out there already.

During my time in Hong Kong, I organised a programme for a project called Images and Voices of Hope. IVOP is an initiative of Judy Rogers, who with a background in Media, is mindful of the need to counteract the negative messages being blasted out from the ‘media machines’. Whilst there are tragedies and untruths that do need to be reported on, positive and uplifting stories of resilience, forgiveness and survival also need to be shared so that people are empowered and given hope.

Australian, Victor Perton is often referred to as “that Optimism Man.”

Even though I contributed a quote for his book The Case for Optimism, I remained a little aloof on this whole topic.

"We have a choice between fear and love. Optimism is an expression of love, a higher energy and so it is more powerful than fear.”  Morni Chen, The Future of Power, quoted in "Optimism: The How and Why"

For years, my enthusiasm (that eventually rubbed off on me from my parents!), has been labelled naïve and immature. It is considered ‘cool’ to be little sceptical and reserved.

When speaking about the Centre for Optimism, which he founded in 2019, Victor says, “We are a movement supporting realistic and infectiously optimistic leaders to be beacons in the fog of pessimism and cynicism.”

Having had a diverse and illustrious background in politics, law and human rights, if Victor can still be optimistic after all he has been exposed to, anyone can! With his vast experience in leadership, he is committed to the belief that only optimistic leaders can truly lead.

Experiment:  Ask yourself, what makes you optimistic?  Write it down.  Ask a family member what makes them optimistic?  It may become addictive.


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