James Gibb on The Power of Optimism
"Embracing the power of optimism is in our hands because it’s a learned behaviour."
So says James Gibb in "The Power of Optimism: Breaking free from the Pull of pessimism."
James Gibb is Senior Director and Chief of Staff at Dell Technologies.
"Optimists don’t believe everything will be great. That’s not reality. Optimists believe that the odds of a good outcome are in their favour over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way. In his book, The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley highlighted three reasons optimism is a rational and reasonable outlook. He based them on historical evidence and human nature.
"Human Progress. Despite occasional setbacks and crises, human progress has been steadily improving over time, with massive strides in areas such as health, education, technology, and wealth creation. This trend is often something we lose sight of because it’s not typically what is reported.
Innovation. We have a natural ability to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems, helping us overcome future challenges and continue to improve our quality of life. Writer David Brooks further expanded on this theme in The Atlantic: “The pessimists miss an underlying truth – a society can get a lot wrong as long as it gets the big things right. If a society is good at unlocking creativity and nurturing its people's abilities, then its ills can be surmounted. Creative energy is one thing [we] have in abundance.”
"Resilience. Humans are resilient and adaptable, and we can rebound from the most daunting of setbacks and challenges. Problems correct, people adapt, and our optimism and creativity help us find new solutions and opportunities.
"Optimists are hopeful and confident about the future because they would seem to have consciously or unconsciously recognised these patterns, trends, and capabilities, and incorporated them into their approach to life."