Realistic Optimism


I read a brief article in The Week magazine comparing 2020 with all its awful challenges, deaths, and unrest with some of the other challenges we have endured over the last couple of centuries. It got me thinking about how I might excavate growth from the very real sadness, challenges, and worries in my own life and business.

Here is what I realized:
I got a lot more familiar with Zoom, and I spent way more time with my (thank God! local) twin grandsons 2 days a week overseeing their remote schoolwork – while managing my business! I learned to be a bit more patient, more flexible. I also learned that multitasking really is inefficient. I have strengthened my relationships with colleagues that I now see only through technology. I value them and the mutual learning we generate more than ever. While I’ve always been committed to exercise and love nature, I have stepped up (literally) my walks and discovered new and beautiful nature preserves – many of them part of National Lands Trust. Yes, I joined to support these local treasures.

Looking toward 2021, I have what positive psychology and resilience research encourages us to develop: “realistic optimism.” I suspect I’ll be wearing a mask throughout the summer, probably well into the fall. It may be many months before I see my new grandson in Colorado or my daughter who lives in Australia – who I haven’t seen for a year. These are real hardships to me. However, I am more mindful and exceedingly grateful for the many privileges and necessities that I do have. I realize so many in our country and the world lack basic necessities, and I’ve learned of more organizations that I can now support.

As we looked to 2021, what blessings and opportunities will you excavate out of the very real hardships you have endured? What innovations and solutions are you generating? How are you expressing gratitude and supporting others who lack what you have? Let’s begin a conversation about how you and your team can develop realistic optimism in 2021.

Best wishes for a year of growth.

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