I’ve decided to be optimistic.

Oh sure, there’s stuff all the time that gets me down.  I worry about stuff, bad things happen, plans fall apart.  I live in the same world as everyone else.

But optimism is more of a choice than a reaction.

Suppose you lose a major customer.  DestructionYour life’s been turned upside down, all the planning assumptions have changed, and you see all the endless work in front of you to try to recover from this event.  That’s the emotional impact.

Your response is a different matter.  One path is to kick some walls, go out and yell at anybody within earshot, then look for people to blame.  Nobody will come away unscathed, even the innocent bystanders.

That response is based on a world view which focuses on what you gain and lose, and where pain is valued more than opportunity.

An alternative is to acknowledge the issue, and attempt to put it in the context of a constantly-changing business dynamic.  What’s to be learned?  What needs to change?  What’s the best path to recovery?

This world view tries to focus on constant change and opportunity.  It’s inherently optimistic.

I’m not suggesting that you should ignore reality.  Yes, things happen that are really bad.  Your business can fail.  You’ll even die eventually.

To choose optimism means that you incorporate the reality, mourn the loss, and experience the real human emotions.  Then to recite this mantra:  Despite all this, I’m going to look for how to make things the best I can.  It won’t be perfect, but I’ll try.

Surprisingly, I’ve found that it’s even a learnable skill.  If you develop optimistic habits, and work with your employees and leaders to do the same, you’ll be able to change the mood of your entire company.

The benefit is that your business will become more resilient in times of change and challenge, rather than being brittle and tense.