16 Apr The One Mindset That Changes Everything
Today I want to talk about the one mindset that changes everything. It’s the one mindset that makes everything possible but that we rarely mention. This week has me thinking about mindset because there are so many good things happening now, amid so many difficult things.
In some countries, such as the USA, vaccines are rolling out and leading us to hope for the end of the pandemic. In other places like Canada, cases are spiking and lockdowns are once again on the increase. The economy is picking up, but we are seeing signs that climate change is accelerating globally with crops showing evidence of stress damage caused by less moisture and more heat. Everyday, we are finding reasons to be optimistic while feeling equally pessimistic. So, which do we choose: optimism or pessimism?
Research shows that optimistic people are more resilient, happier and have better immune systems. Optimism is hope and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something while pessimism is the tendency to see the worst aspect of things or to lack confidence in the future. So, when there are reasons for both, why choose optimism?
In my book Stepping Up, I make the point that optimism helps us to step up and move towards action. When we assume something can get better, whether it is a social problem like racism, an environmental problem like climate change, a personal relationship that needs improving or a business challenge, we naturally move to take action. Because we believe something CAN change, we are motivated to do all that we can. If, on the other hand, we assume that nothing can be done – that racism is inevitable, that it is too late to do something about climate change, that my partner will never change or that the challenges in my business are insurmountable, it moves us to be passive, and to step back.
Optimism is simply the practical choice.
I was in the room once when someone asked Al Gore if he ever got gloomy about climate change and the Earth’s future. He said, “No, because it isn’t practical!” In other words, the moment we give in to pessimism, we start stepping back.
So, whenever you find yourself giving in to pessimism, remember it is a choice. There are usually reasons to be optimistic and reasons to be pessimistic, but optimism opens us up to think about possibilities and actions we can take right now. Make a choice! I vote for Optimism.
People often ask me if I am hopeful about the future of humanity and I always answer yes. First, because I am and second, because holding that view keeps me writing, speaking, and doing everything I can to make sure it turns out that way.