Use the Power of Optimism to Find the Silver Lining in Any Situation
Challenges are a part of life. But how you engage with difficult circumstances determines your success. A key to being a successful transformational leader is using the power of optimism to navigate tough times.
In this series of articles, we’re exploring The Optimist Creed, a book written by renowned American New Thought leader, teacher and author Christian D. Larson.
You can read about Promise #1, Promise #2, and Promise #3, and today, we’ll discuss Promise #4 of The Optimist Creed, which is “to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.”
The power of optimism can make even the most dire circumstances manageable — and even a blessing.
Using the Power of Optimism to Welcome Something Better
Two small young boys were sitting in the living room of their home. Peering through the living room window, they were waiting for their father to come home from work.
When they see their father’s car pull into the driveway, they turn and yell toward the kitchen, “Mom, Mom — Dad’s home from work!”
Their mother comes into the living room as the boys turn back toward the window. They see their father get out of the car. But as soon as they see his face, they know that something is wrong.
He enters the front door and sweeps his wife up in a hug. He says, “Honey, I lost my job today. There was a change at work, and 500 of us were let go.”
The mother breaks down in tears. Her dream is to become a schoolteacher. She’s attending college, where she’s studying to earn her teaching degree. She knows that she might now need to get a job, which would put her dream on life support.
The boys watch their parents console each other in their moment of sadness. Then, suddenly, there’s a shift in the energy as their father has a thought.
“Honey, I just realized something,” he says.
In that moment, he shares something very powerful — the same idea that all amazing transformational leaders know deep in their guts. He recognized that, up until that moment, his thoughts about his job loss had not been in alignment with Promise #4 of The Optimist Creed.
Napoleon Hill, when studying the world’s most successful people, said it this way:
“Every adversity has within it the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.”
The father recognized that within the shock and potential doom of his job loss lay an opportunity. All he had to do was be optimistic.
His face lights up as he says,
“Maybe there’s a blessing in what’s happened. Let’s turn our attention to looking for the blessing in all of this.”
The next day, the father starts looking for a new job … and an amazing thing happens within 48 hours.
He found a new job closer to home, one to which he could ride his bike. Previously, his commute to work took more than an hour in each direction.
The new job was a 10-minute bike ride away, which left the car for the family to use during the day. Not only did he love riding his bike to work, he had better hours at his new job, which meant more time with his family.
He was even earning more money! Imagine landing a new job within 48 hours of being let go — and then making more money, working closer to home, and having a shorter workday. He had definitely found the blessing within his difficult circumstances.
Tap Into the Power of Optimism to Elevate Your Leadership
As a transformational leader, all eyes are on you during crises and challenges. The people you lead will look to you for guidance about how to respond.
Use the power of optimism to set a good example and tone for your team. Help them find the blessing in even the most dire circumstances.
Not all challenges will resolve as quickly and relatively easily as they did for the father in our story. How and when a resolution is reached is often outside of your control.
The most important step you can take is to look for the blessing — to keep your eyes on the sunny side of whatever is happening.
Looking for the blessing is the key move the father made. By using the power of optimism, he brought a positive outlook and energy to his job interview. It was no accident that he landed that new job; he had the right attitude.
Using the power of optimism to stay focused on the sunny side of challenging situations can help you in a similar way. Not only will it help you spot opportunities, the positive energy you put out into the world will help you attract the people and resources you need to keep moving toward your goals.
What challenges are you facing right now, and what blessings can you spot in those situations? Let’s share below, and encourage each other to embrace Promise #4 of The Optimist Creed and find the blessings.