People and Business in Full Bloom Contact PassionFruit by Email
PassionFruit Navigation

What is Strategic Optimism and How Can I Get Some?

by Wendy Watkins, ACC

It seems like these days there is a strategy available for everything. Economic stimulus, how to win a football game, how to grow your business. It is a good thing to have a strategy; a plan that serves you in achieving what it is you want.

passionfruit newsletter sign-up Sign up for our Free Newsletter

Strategic Optimism

Some of these strategies seem to work well, others not so well. There are many things that play into the success of a strategy – one of them being you, the person who designs and implements the strategy. What is the strategy behind the strategy? Kind of like the man behind the curtain - is it truly the great Oz or is it just a man with a plan? A big plan!

You can support yourself in creating success with a new kind of plan; one that you may not have thought about before. It is called Strategic Optimism.  It is your strategy to stay positive and be able to experience joy and manifest the things in life that you desire. This is a strategy that goes along with and strengthens your other important strategies.

You may be asking, “Why do I have to have a strategy for optimism?” Let’s look at when you do not have a strategy—what happens? You roll through the world, being directed by the many things that can take optimism away from you. And if you are not optimistic, then you tend to be pessimistic. Have you had the opportunity to spend time with any pessimistic people lately? How does it leave you feeling? Drained, exhausted, scared, angry—not the type of feelings that support you in experiencing success and fulfillment. Do you want to spend time with these type of people? Unless you are another pessimist, than the answer is probably no. Pessimists group themselves together. They find groups to be in to complain about things, online chat rooms, clubs that are against things. These people are easy to find.

It is the optimists that feed your spirit, optimism that allows us to attract more optimism and more of what we want in the world. When you put your attention on the glass being half empty, you continue to get more of that. So why not have a glass that is full, or overflowing? That is what having a strategy around being optimistic will give you.
We need all the help we can get these days in staying positive and feeling good. It is a choice and it is an important one to make. One that affects you and all of the people around you and all of the people around them and so on and so on…… Imagine a world where everyone leaned towards optimism! When they had a choice, they looked at the bright side, letting those thoughts affect how they feel and those feelings affect what their next action will be. It could shift a lot around what is happening in the world these days.

I have a client who lost his job recently, something that he really did not want to happen at this time and in the way that it did. But he made a choice. From then on, he chose to look at it as an opportunity to create the next best thing for himself. We are now looking at what that really is for him and moving towards it by choosing optimism and  taking the steps to keeping it alive. This does not mean that he is never afraid. When he iss, he knows he can step back and make a choice - a choice to choose optimism. He knows the  things that support him in feeling good and he remembers to integrate them into his life on a regular basis.

5 Tips to Strategic Optimism

1. Choose optimism. This is where it starts. Set the intention in your life to be more positive. When you set an intention, it is putting out there: “This is what I want to consciously create in my life.” It is the start of your strategy for optimism. Write your intention on a piece of paper or note card and place it somewhere where you will see it. Visual reminders enhance intentions. “I intend to be positive” - start with that.

2. Choose new thoughts. Having the intention to choose optimism is the first step. Now, gently, but with great commitment, change pessimistic thoughts to optimistic thoughts. Fully believing the thoughts is not necessary at this point. Here is where it is important to notice your thoughts and create the habit of changing them to an optimistic one. It can be as simple as when you wake up in the AM, and you have a thought with negative undertones, like,”I have so much to do today, I will never get it all done.” Gently shift it to, “I have so much to do today and trust that it will all get done with ease.” A simple shift in thought will shift the way you feel. From there your actions will shift as well.

3. Associate with upbeat people. Find the people who make you feel good, who share the type of attitude that you want to have in the world. They are out there and with intention you can find them! Be open to having them come into your life. You do not have to “break-up” with the people in your life that are pessimistic. When you choose optimism, these people and situations will come your way. Be open and expect the best.

4. Look for the good, happy or beautiful in people and places each day. It is amazing what you will find when you choose to do this. You can find optimism in seeing a small ant move a large crumb, a toddler getting up from a fall to try walking again or a plant growing out of a rock crevice. Look for the good instead of the norm of looking for the bad. It will change your life!

5. Give gratitude a go. When you start and end each day with acknowledging the things that you are grateful for in your life, it fills your tank with optimism and positivity. Use this gratitude attitude to support you in consciously replacing pessimistic thoughts with ones or optimism and positivity. You can choose to be grateful for anything and everything in your life—it is all how you choose to look at it.

These 5 tips are the start of integrating strategic optimism into your life. This is not just about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. Studies show optimists live longer, heal faster, have more friends and enjoy life more than pessimists. Are these good enough reasons for you to step into consciously choosing optimism in your life and creating a strategy to achieve it? I say, yes—just as an optimist would!

Try this …

These days the biggest contributor to pessimism is watching the news and reading the newspaper. Take one week off of starting or ending your day with news. I promise you that you will find out everything that you need to know. There are lots of other people out there who will happily keep you abreast of current events. Notice how you feel when you replace this ritual with the ritual of strategic optimism. It will be as delicious as warm chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk. That sounds positive to me!