Irrational Optimism vs Irrational Pessimism

"Forget about all the things that you perceive are holding you back. Just picture yourself as an incredible success... Until you foster some optimism, you’ll be blind to the many possibilities that await you." 

Bruce Kasanoff, Ikigai Park City Cofounder

 
Bruce Kasanoff refers to this as “irrational optimism”.  I like the idea.  Especially since it’s the opposite of “irrational pessimism”.  Pessimism is too much a part of our narrative these days.  When you really think about it, our pessimism can take over – turning irrational – as we dwell on all that’s wrong about our jobs, our lives, or our world.  It’s a treadmill that can be all-consuming.  It shuts us down.
 
We doubt ourselves.  Assumptions shake our self-confidence.  Negative thoughts have us dug in so deeply, we can’t see the possibilities.  We sabotage ourselves and our ideas.  And we forget we have options.  
 
Guess what?  There’s always a choice.
 
So, how do we open up the possibilities in our lives.  As Kasanoff suggests – become irrationally optimistic!   Don’t limit your thinking.  Expand it. Jettison assumptions and negative thoughts.  Imagine the possible.  Yeah – you! Have fun.  Loosen up.
 
Here are some initial questions to get you started.
 
Step 1:  What dissatisfies you right now?  What is the joy you seek?  Paint a picture of yourself in your mind’s eye.  Write it down.  Say it out loud.  Make it real!
 
Step 2:  What are your options? What is in your control to change?  What roadblocks might you face?  How can you remove those roadblocks?  (By the way, there’s usually more than one solution to every roadblock.) 
 
And while the journey may be uncertain and a little unsettling, does it bring what you seek? Is it worth the effort in the long-term? Note: In case you are doubting yourself, know you can do this!  You DO deserve this!  
 
Step 3:  What steps can you take to realize your dream?  Take one step at a time.  Be gentle on yourself.  And set yourself up to learn with each step.  Be willing to let your dream evolve as you take the journey. What you imagined may not be as exciting as what you create along the way.
 
Personal change is an evolution of intent and spirit. It requires an opening up of self to risk and reward. It is irrational. It is optimistic. It is all about what can be.