If there were one guiding principle that encapsulated all pragmatic optimists, it would simply be: “judge your worth not by what you own, but by what you create”…In my travels documenting and working with a number of these individuals I’ve observed number of core principles they all seem to share, and they’re principles any of us can adopt:
- Have an unashamed optimism of ambition. (Don’t feel embarrassed to say that things can be better. Have no qualms about imagining an improved world and advocating for it, no matter how much derision you may receive at the hands of the cynical.)
- Engage in projects that are bigger than you are. (“Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.”)
- Your ideas are for sharing, not protecting. (Pragmatic optimists happily let their ideas go out dating.)
- Making mistakes is OK, but not trying is irresponsible.
- You’re defined by what you do, not by what you intend to do. (Pragmatic optimists aren’t interested in what you might do if you had more time, or if your manager was more understanding, or if you were the manager, or if it was next week. You are what you do. That’s it. Get on with it.) [Read more…]
This is my youngest brother Lorne. This photo was taken one year ago yesterday after his successful bone marrow transplant. He celebrates another year of a remarkable life. This man, my Brother, carries himself with such grace, with such gentleness, with such kindness and with such optimism – – I shake my head in wonder. It makes me believe that he was “selected” because of his indomitable spirit and strength.
I’m not the great mind or the brilliance that surrounds me. I’m an Electrolux. A Cuisinart. A rough chop.
I’m not an Olympic sculler. I don’t slice through the water with grace, with ease, with yeomanlike efficiency. My boat lurches left and right. I’m not first but I’m in the race.
I’m not a woodchopper. Yet I chop. When I miss, the vibration shudders – rattles my teeth, my bones and that of others. Yet, the tree will come down.
6:17am: I’m up and out the door. It’s a beautiful morning for running. Wisps of cool air cutting through the early September humidity. Streaks of clouds cover the sunrise. A splash of color on a few trees getting a head start on autumn. It’s September 3rd. And a great day to be alive. (Hello September. Where did the year go? Love, LOVE, the fall season. The pulsating picture above feels like my heart does now. Ba Boom. Ba Boom. Ba Boom. Ba Boom. Keep tickin’ baby. Keep tickin’.)
6:23am: Pace is good. Both jets feel good. No one is out and about. Pesky squirrels are sleeping. Even the birds are quiet. (Yep, it’s just me and my head. And that can get crowded. Managed to contain the food intake yesterday. Miracle. Determined to get this weight down before the hibernation period. As Brenna would say, Thanksgiving is the time of the year “when I feel like I’ve eaten a gallon of mashed potatoes and a gravy-injected turkey and washed it down with six or seven espressos.”)
Source: WSJ – Self-Help For Skeptics.
- Self-compassionate people are happier…(it) helps people overcome life’s little, and not-so-little stressors
- You can train your brain to focus on the positive – even if you’re wired to see the glass as half empty
- To enjoy life and feel good, people need roughly four positive emotions to counteract the effect of one negative emotion
- Instead of “pushing through” a bad day, look for ways to actively improve it. Take a small break. Get an ice-cream cone. Invite a friend out to dinner.
- Resist the urge to make your problems worse. “Ask yourself, How much of my distress is the real problem, and how much is stuff I am heaping on myself unnecessarily?”
- Boost your daily ratio of positive-to-negative emotions…What do you enjoy doing? Seeing your best buddy, watching a funny movie, walking in the park? Make a list and do one a day.
- Then list things you really don’t enjoy. Are there people who bring you down? Hobbies that no longer interest you? Errands you can delegate? Some of this stuff can be avoided.
- If you don’t feel happy, fake it. You wouldn’t constantly burden a friend with your bad mood, so don’t burden yourself. Try holding a pencil horizontally in your mouth. “This activates the same muscles that create a smile, and our brain interprets this as happiness,”…
See full article @ WSJ – Self-Help For Skeptics. Train Your Brain to Be Positive, and Feel Happier Every Day: It Only Sounds Corny