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.)