October 30, 2017 Pick your -ism

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

Since my colleague referenced Churchill awhile back, I thought I’d use it as a springboard to talk about one of my favorite quotes. All of us have a choice of how we view things or interpret other people’s words. Some of us take the optimistic perspective and look for the good that will come from the situation or from the person. It helps if you start by assuming noble intent unless the person or circumstances have previously demonstrated why you shouldn’t. But even then, grace can be liberating.

Some of us tend to start from a pessimistic or negative perspective…skeptical of the person or circumstances…assuming evil intent…looking for the fight. While this approach has its place and time, it should not be the default for any of us.

Try taking the optimistic approach for a day or a week. Read that email or text as though the person had very positive intentions and a smile in their voice if they were speaking those words to you. Ask the question as though you’re sure the answer will be yes, not expecting another embarrassing turn down. It’ll make you see opportunities that weren’t there before.

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