Liquid Optimism

Liquid Optimism

by John Dabell

Liquid optimism is a fluid mindset.

Like water, this mindset will always find a way and shape itself to the circumstances encountered.

A liquid optimist’s mindset allows its owner to flow without stagnation or blockage. If you can’t go through an obstacle then you go around it, or over it or underneath it.

It describes a mind that flows freely, calmly and efficiently.

Just as water does.

The resilience inherent in liquid optimism lies in its remarkable ability to adapt to change.

Just as water does.

Some of the obstacles in our way are daunting and appear to be immovable. That’s probably because they are.

But that doesn’t stop you from changing direction and going around them, over them or underneath them. A blockage doesn’t mean full stop.

A liquid optimist circumnavigates obstacles despite their size.

Clearly, we can’t get around every obstacle because sometimes we do hit a dam wall. Damn!

But there are lots of occasions where we can flow in a different way.

The rock might block the flow of the river but it doesn’t stop it. The water just finds another way to keep moving forward because it finds a path that keeps its positive energy flowing.

Liquid optimists might have their pace slowed or altered by obstacles but they are able to keep moving forward. They focus on where they want to flow.

If there is no path, a liquid optimist will make one. They understand fluid dynamics! Liquid optimism is, therefore, a type of free-range optimism.

The liquid optimist expects that there will be uncertainties and blockages to deal with.

A liquid optimist accepts what’s coming and doesn’t try to fight it but looks to out-manoeuvre, preferably with the minimum of effort. The path of least resistance is taken as a first option.

It’s a case of steady as she goes, steady as she flows.

Blocks in the path demand a work around and liquid optimists meet the challenge by being fiercely flexibility and energy efficient.

We are always going to encounter problems, obstacles and setbacks because that’s just the way life is but just like the water, a liquid optimist will find another route to carry on.

Thomas F. Cleary also adds another point to this way of thinking. Sometimes we encounter the obstacle, pause, build up volume and strength and then push on by spilling past it. He says,

Do not turn and run, for there is nowhere worthwhile for you to go. Do not attempt to push ahead into the danger… emulate the example of the water: Pause and build up your strength until the obstacle no longer represents a blockage.

I suppose to extend this idea further, that extra strength needed might need a moment to recover. In the case of water, this relaxes and recovers by forming deep pools to collect itself. We can do the same.

A liquid optimist is made up of positive energy and uses this positivity to keep going.

Like water, this mindset doesn’t have consciousness or emotional reactions to changing geography. It just gets on with the job of moving.

Liquid optimists flow with adversity rather than waste energy fighting it.

They are flexible and hardy. They know that there are no linear lines in life and they respond gracefully by moving from challenge to challenge.

To a liquid optimist, some obstacles aren’t obstacles at all because they actually help to facilitate progress. They help us to get stronger as we have to adapt.

Moving water has power, and so does a moving optimist of the liquid variety!

Flowing forward gives you confidence.


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As John describes himself, "Incurable optimist living with incurable cancer. Hopepunk, Grit Spreader & Force Multiplier. The difference between a warrior and worrier is a couple vowels."


Read more on Liquid Optimism from Victor Perton's Samoan Insights.



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