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Five ways to amp up your enthusiasm and optimism - part 2

Five ways to amp up your enthusiasm and optimism - part 2

Last week I was sharing my tips for how I amp up my positivity, enthusiasm, and optimism if I get tired, exhausted, or burned out. The world can get tough when the input of information exceeds our ability to consume it. Some call this content shock. Others overwhelm. And in all cases, it has lead to the highest incidence of stress and anxiety-related illnesses in the last few years. These final two tips are my favorites, so they deserve a separate post.


Step 4: SPIRIT/Resilience. When something goes awry, think bigger.

One of my advisors taught me this lesson. A few years back, we lost a full stack developer that I loved working beside. He was self-taught, wicked smart, creative, and talented. Together we built the product that would put us on the map to go viral. Not only that, we enjoyed a confident banter mixed with existential philosophy that caused me to feel very sad when he resigned. He wanted to get more experience working in an all-tech team where he could learn faster and advance his career. I completely understood his reasoning and that he was right to move on when he did, but it was still a loss that still stings when I think of it. I still miss him a lot. We survived and hired a replacement, only to have the same thing happen again a year later. It made sense for his career but was a loss of time invested by me. I liked him quite a lot too. But this time, I had learned something valuable. When a disappointment happens, it might just be that the universe wants to provide an opportunity for something better. This time, I thought to myself, “well, yes, I am disappointed, but instead of fretting about it, I am going to think bigger!”
This mindset changed everything. I decided to increase the budget and hire someone with a great deal more experience and years of partnership and career maturity. After all, it was the “fit” that had been the problem. We needed a partner, not an employee. This choice has worked out wonderfully for us over the last three years. And the think bigger mantra has helped me with quick recovery on things that don’t go as I would have liked. This new practice lifted my spirit substantially.


Step 5: REALITY/Be present. Thoughts about the past or future are ego, not real.

This last tip goes perfectly with the one above. I have also learned that whenever we worry about the past (or it repeating itself) or the future (and what might or might not happen), we are wasting precious intellectual time on what may never happen. And we could be using our minds to focus on what is present before us right now. Some call this presencing — the act of focusing on what you have the most control over right now. Positive visioning and imagining are crucial to the creative process, but when it turns into something else, like striving, pushing, fretting, complaining, blaming, or criticizing, now we’re in different territory. That’s all about ego-based fears and ego insecurities projected onto others. In this case, I have learned to ask myself the question, “what am I putting onto others, that I have not taken responsibility for myself?” Then, and only then, can I correct my attitudes and actions and bring them into the reality of the present moment. Today, I can focus on progress, productivity, creativity, and taking one small step to actualizing a bigger vision.

So, I leave you with this thought. In what ways do you need to grow up because you’re not taking responsibility for something? And in what ways do you need to let go, to help another person rise to their responsibility? Only then are we truly taking 100% of our responsibility and letting others do the same. Reality requires this balance.