I have been observing the people I know (including myself) with regard to doing, being, having, and accomplishing -- well, anything. It could be starting a busines, writing a book, changing your lifestyle to save your health, or even something smaller like Marie Kondo-ing your sock drawer.
My observation is this -- the optimists among us get sh** done and improve everything from their sock drawer to their families, to their communities and even the world.
As far as I can tell this is why that happens:
1. The sense that their actions count gets them through set backs and discouraging situations. So when obstacles arise, or they get knocked down, they keep going and eventually they observe their fit, energetic bod, their new business or their clutter free sock drawer with the satisfaction of a completed accomplishment
2. The satisfaction of a completed accomplishment leads to more accomplishments. Watch out underwear drawer!!!!
3. Optimism makes you a pleasure to be around -- others want what you have. You'll attract like-minded folks with a list of accomplishments who would be more likely to guide you toward tools and tricks that will help you get more sh** done. (Remember Pollyanna at the Bazaar where they raised a bunch of money with cakes and such? Everybody wanted that buzz of optimism and jumped on board to contribute to the cause.)
4. The knowledge that you have the power to improve things (a stunning result of the "hell yeah" optimists among us) gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. You know that something you've done has solved a problem or made something work better. Each time you'll go after something bigger and solve harder problems.
5. You can't be cynical and optimistic at the same time. As we have all seen, those who angrily rant (in life or on social media) about the things that bring them down are completely beat down. They feel hopeless and depressed. They feel that their actions don't matter so they are less likely to take action. They have trouble pushing through set backs and then leave the problem unsolved -- thus confirming to themselves that they are unable to make a difference in the situation. It is a miserable state to be in -- I can tell you from personal experience that it suuuuuuucks.
If you're in this frame of mind, just solve a simple, easy to solve problem. Brighten up a dog's day. That is pretty easy to do -- dogs love everything. Throw a frisbee or scratch his ears and you've already improved something for someone. Next try tidying your sock drawer or making your bed. Do the smallest thing you can do. It will lead to more. Eventually you'll be digging wells for people with no access to water or creating beautiful works of art or curing cancer -- who knows. Anything is possible for the "hell yeah" optimist.
I was a teenager in the nineties so I know that angst and cynicism have a certain appeal. I remember thinking how cool the miserable people were -- I think I was probably wearing combat boots, inky eye make-up, and a dress that was supposed to be a slip -- I looked great, actually. (In all honesty, I still get nostalgic when I hear the tortured music of the grunge era). However, I thought that intelligence and happiness couldn't coexist in a person --- that was the dumbest thing I have ever believed (and I have believed some really dumb stuff!)
A perfect example of the power of optimism is Boyan Slat. He keeps forging ahead despite major obstacles. He has figured out how to clean the giant island of plastic and trash out of the ocean. Listen to this conversation between Boyan Slat and Joe Rogan to see what unbridled optimism can do. (It's a long one, listen to it in the car.)
This is the organization Mr. Slat started to clean the ocean:
I find this fella extremely inspirational and "hell yeah!" optimistic. I plan to make a concerted effort to be as "hell yeah!" optimistic as possible. I see it as the best plan to make my life and work meaningful.
Stay tuned to future blog posts with more links to inspirational "hell yeah!" optimists.
*Daniella Bozzone is an author and illustrator of uplifting children's books and daily practice journals. Click the links below to check out her books: