Updated: Oct 5
Why be an optimist? Because It is the only way to get good work done and enjoy your life. I am much more likely to take inspired action that changes the trajectory of my life when I feel hopeful and excited about something. I get nothing done when I am miserable and complaining about life. I am not alone in this.
Action is the only way to reach a goal or achieve a purpose.
Inspired action really makes it happen.
And inspired action comes with hope and excitement.
The Secret Formula to becoming an optimist and taking inspired action:
1) Every day, only take in only one "serving" (or less) of regular news and at least five "servings" of good news.
Our brains have a negativity bias -- meaning that we see and retain bad news, but forget, ignore, and just miss the good news. This bias came in handy when we were looking over our shoulders for saber-tooth tigers and poisonous mushrooms all the time. It still serves us in acute situations -- our brains are miraculous things. However, the evolution of this brain bias occurred before we had access to bad news on a global scale -- which is bad news overdosing. Now we're absolutely drowning in anxiety due to the "if it bleeds it leads" trend in news reporting from the whole stinkin' world.
Both good and bad things are occurring at every moment in time. Choose where to focus your attention. Then when you are buoyed up by hope your inspired actions will ripple effect out. You'll be the inspiration and good news that people seek out.
2) Start a Gratitude Practice:
This really works -- it is almost magic. Every morning write down three things you are grateful to have in your life that day. Include little things and big things. I put things like my marriage, my crazy cat, a good cup of coffee, anything I like, or love will do. I appreciate everything that I write in my gratitude practice even more than before.
The very act of doing that has changed my outlook on life. That outlook shift has made me happier, healthier, and even wealthier. It has made me brave and ballsy and unafraid to take actions that a few years ago I would've talked myself out of taking. I enjoy my life much more than I did before I practiced gratitude.
3) Move your body. Go outside. Breathe fresh air. If I have been sitting at my desk for too long I get fidgety and irritable. I become less productive and more distractable. I have learned that when I feel this way it is time to go outside. Since I work from home now I will go downstairs and throw the ball for my dog or take him on a walk. When I get back I am ready to do better work than I would ever do without that time outside, moving around, breathing deeply. Even five minutes of that will make you get more done in less time, and you'll be happier with the work too.
Here's to the optimists who are changing the world!
Daniella Bozzone is a writer and illustrator based Tennessee. Check out her latest children's book Lucy Cate and the Yummy Rainbow.
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