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Earning Optimism

September 25, 2012

There’s a distinctive form of optimism shaping the mindsets of successful innovators.

It’s more of a “follow your learning” than “follow your bliss” expectation.  This form of optimism is earned.  It’s a by-product of taking on the big goals, managing through ambiguous situations and living by your results.  Knowing that you’ll incorporate successes and failures and keep pressing forward fuels a grounded confidence.

99 Earned optimism is shaped by curiosity.  The kind of curiosity that compels you to keep asking questions, to find and learn from people who are different from you, to tinker and experiment until you get it right, and to commit to success.  Even if you’re not 100% sure of what the success will look like … yet.

In an interview in the Paris Review, Ray Bradbury said:

“I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing…. Test it. Find out. You don’t know – you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice!  At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes….

Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad – you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.”

What will strengthen your optimism today?

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