Use the Power of Optimism to Create the Results You Want
In business, as in life, you’ll be called upon to make critical decisions where the stakes are high. If things work out well, you’ll achieve something great. But if they don’t work out, you could face devastation and ruin. The power of optimism and optimistic leadership can be used in these high-pressure situations to ensure the right decision.
My client Francisco is an excellent example of how you can use the power of optimism to discern which decision will help you create the results you want.
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.
I used Optimistic Promise #5 — To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best — to counsel Francisco.
The Power of Optimism Can Guide Your Choices
Francisco was facing an important decision. So he called me, his business coach, to help gain clarity about which choice would be the correct one for him.
As a business coach, I consult with and help business owners in many different industries and share principles for growth, such as these optimistic promises in The Optimist Creed. Francisco was a professional photographer.
In the photography industry, there are all kinds of equipment that you use to be a great photographer. Francisco had called me because he had been offered a chance to buy what he called “the best camera in the world.”
Now that’s a pretty amazing statement. Imagine being offered the chance to own the very best piece of equipment available in your industry. It could potentially give you a very competitive edge, right?
Our conversation happened many years ago, so I don’t remember the brand or name of the camera. What I do remember is that, at that time, the camera cost something like $15,000 brand new — which was a lot of money for a camera, even for a professional photographer.
Francisco did not have $15,000 to invest in a camera for his new startup business.
But as it turns out, he didn’t need to have that much money.
There was another photographer who already owned one of these high-end cameras. He had decided to close his business and needed some fast cash. So he was offering Francisco a chance to buy this camera for just $7,000.
A part of Francisco desperately wanted to say yes to this incredible offer. Yet, another part of him looked at his bank account and saw that there was only $7,000 available. Purchasing this camera — even if it was an incredible deal — would take every last dollar that Francisco had.
Francisco had to make a decision – and he knew the results could potentially mean life or death for his business. So he called me, his business coach, to help him decide which way to go.
2 Optimistic Questions to Tap into the Power of Optimism
I asked Francisco two questions. Two optimistic questions. These questions clarified for him what the right move was, so that he was able to make a decision and move forward with confidence.
Earlier in my work with Francisco, we had created a vision of the business he wanted to build. I invited him to tap into the energy of this vision with the first question: “What is it you truly want?”
Francisco pondered this optimistic question in the context of being a professional photographer. His main focus of work was filming and shooting images for the hospitality industry, particularly vacation resorts.
So as Francisco debated whether to buy the camera, I invited him to remind me of the vision he held for his business. He grew excited describing the premier photography business he wanted to build.
He dreamed of shooting images that would emotionally engage the people who saw them.
He wanted viewers to light up and desperately crave to experience for themselves the images that his photographs captured.
So I asked him a follow-up question:
“Are the images that this camera would produce in alignment with your vision?”
He took a deep breath and said, “Yes, they are.”
I then asked the second question that taps into the Power of Optimism as expressed in Promise #5.
“Great, Francisco,” I said. “Now let me ask you this: The photographer who is living into the vision that you painted for me — what kind of equipment is that photographer using?”
Francisco just chuckled, saying “This camera, because it’s the best camera.”
I replied, “Then you have your decision.”
Francisco thanked me and proceeded to buy that camera. That was an optimistic leadership choice.
Here’s where things get really interesting.
Francisco was now in a place where he was using only the best equipment, meaning he was “working for the best.” The next key was to expect the best, which we started working on together.
Less than 30 days later, Francisco received a phone call for an incredible opportunity, an all-expenses-paid trip to film a number of hotels on the islands of Hawaii. He not only had an incredible trip to Hawaii, but he also came back with a check that was five times the cost of the camera — in less than 30 days after he purchased this top of the line camera.
Using the Power of Optimism as a Transformational Leader
As transformational leaders, we often find ourselves in places where we have to make critical decisions — decisions that can dramatically impact our teams, our companies, our careers and our lives.
You, too, can harness the power of optimism to discern the path that will lead you toward your goal using these same two optimistic questions:
- What is it I really want?
- Is this decision in alignment with my vision?
Being optimistic is absolutely an energetic force for good in our lives and certainly in our businesses. I’d love to hear about your experience putting this lesson to work in your life.
Have you ever made a decision that was ‘optimistic’ — even if it seemed risky? How did it turn out? Please share your thoughts below!