The Curse Of Optimism
February 9, 2016
Over the ages, great philosophers have spoken of optimism. Socrates, Plato, Hegel, John Wayne.
Yup, The Duke said a lot of things ... all of them in movies, of course. A few days ago I came across a series of Wayne's movie quotes. Cinematic hero of my parents' generation, Wayne had a way of connecting a homily or a sagebrush quip. One of my personal favorites:
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes into us very clean at midnight. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands... it hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
In a tumultuous time we need all the optimism we can muster over the year ahead. Some suggestions seem appropriate as we turn into another year:
- Fear no competitor, respect every competitor.
- The truly accomplished know attention to the smallest detail leads to big wins.
- Aggressiveness makes up for tactical mistakes. It's not the mistake you made but how you dealt with it.
- Character matters more than reputation. Reputation can be won and lost in a day; character is built over a career.
- Be quick ... but don't hurry.
- Personal improvement can't happen without valid and consistent self-analysis. The truth can hurt but repeated failure hurts a lot more.
- Everybody wants to "get on with it" while many fewer want to plan. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
- Being "average" really means you're as close to the bottom as you are to the top. What fun is that?
- Make friendship a fine art.
- Trust your senses, not your sight.
When things are turning against you on a given day, it's tough to be optimistic. Yet science tells us "we move to what we picture." When you vividly and repeatedly picture success, you willultimately find it. Volumes of research prove it.