What the World Needs Now is the Power of Optimism

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (in reference to Covid-19), “There must be room for faith and optimism at this time…the kind of faith that believes, as Moses commands in the Book of Deuteronomy, that “God will bless you in all that you do.” We must do. We must act. We must fight…”fear will weaken, rather than embolden, our resolve. It will undermine our health. Depression will sap our energy and make us partially give up. But faith, optimism and hope will compel us to do the right thing in a time when exercising wise judgment is the difference between life and death.

My fundamental character has always favored optimism over hopelessness so I concentrate on the good in my life. It isn’t always easy, but it feels better than hopelessness so whenever I’ve faced difficulties, catch myself complaining or focusing on the negative, I stop and reflect on all of the luxuries that I am surrounded by. No matter what the circumstances, optimism, faith and belief are the catalysts that have kept me strong knowing to keep going forward and that something will change.

Having a positive attitude isn’t and has never been about ignoring what someone is living through, it is about finding the light and remembering that this too shall pass as everything does. Not everyone around you will agree or may think you’re not seeing the world as you should, but if you think about it that, like everything else, is their perception of the world based on their experiences and how they feel.

It’s been eleven years since I stopped living a conventional, expected life and began the daily practice of living mindfully, intending to make the world a better place. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to the Optimist’s Creed. The words may seem “pollyanaish” but I believe that aligning with the author’s intent are a way to encourage positivity and raise my level of happiness.

I’ve discovered that being optimistic lifts the spirit, eliminates stress and worry that anyone’s health surely does not need. Being optimistic takes determination, grit and an attitude of faith, even if it is only the size of a mustard seed, it will make a difference in your daily life.

About the author of the Optimists Creed: Christian Larson was an American new thought leader and teacher (1874 – 1954), who changed the way people thought; this was his belief:

That all people have a tremendous latent power within them, which could be harnessed for success with the right mind and proper attitude.

To support his beliefs, in 1912 he wrote the following creed, something I thought I would share. I’ve observed this to a fashion, but now I intend to include these ideals in my daily practices, especially with all of the negativity and challenges surrounding us all.

 Sir Ernest Shackleton (an Irish Antarctic explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic) said: ‘Optimism is true moral courage’. 

In an article about optimism, Dr. Jon Blakey, a coaching expert wrote that he believesit takes courage to be an optimist because it takes courage to fail. It takes courage to be wrong. It takes courage to be unlucky. It takes courage to have a go. Much easier to drift into the background and shelter in cynicism, negativity and despair.”

Self Narratives – Where They Come From and How to Change Them


“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences, be they positive or negative, make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.”-B.J. Neblett

We are born into stories, storytelling is a natural part of being human. The stories we develop and tell become our life story, they form our perception of everything and everyone we encounter, as well are our self-perception and our beliefs. The present state of our lives is a result of those stories.

Self narratives define our way of seeing who we believe we are, our sense of self-worth and what we believe we are capable of, they help us connect with others and how we empathize. As we grow into adults, our narratives become our perception of the world.

Not only are we storytellers, we are story listeners. Narratives are woven into our heads and throughout our lives become very real to us even if they are imagined or nothing like any situation we may have experienced. Whether we are aware of it or not, we combine all of the elements of our stories to create an explanation of our lives. Our imagination combined with these stories can either pull us into misconceptions and suffering or draw us into a life of happiness, love and positive outcomes. We are the authors of our stories.

While not all stories we are told or tell are wrong or harmful, they are the foundation for many of the circumstances that we live every day. Like everyone else, my stories come from a variety of sources where I’ve created visuals of myself and my abilities. The difference for me came with my journey into mindfulness which has helped me tremendously with my self-narratives, whether I’m creating stories about myself, the people around me or any experiences I have.

The internalized stories we tell ourselves are our own personal myths. Like myths, our stories are a combination of fact and what may or may not be conjecture. They have villains and heroes that either propel us forward or hold us back. We can figure out where those stories originated by reflecting, looking at each part of who we are and where that stems from. We can edit, revise and interpret those stories even if limited by facts, we can also rewrite them. Consider this, our lives, our stories and our health are inextricably interwoven.


How do you recognize the stories you tell yourself, and if they are getting in your way?

Start by thinking through who you are. Write it down.

What are your qualities?

What do you struggle with? Take time with this, perhaps even coming back to it a few days later.

Ask others how they perceive you.

What do they say you’re good at?

Recognize the things in your story that make you uncomfortable, things you don’t like to admit but feel are true

Challenge the story.

Are those things you want to change?

Focus on really understanding those aspects of your narrative. Think through where they came from.

What was the root cause?

Imagine what life would be like if these weren’t part of your narrative. What would be different? (From Introvert, Dearby Peter Ash)

Mindful Ways to Unravel your Self-Narratives

Determine parts of a narrative you want to change – whether your stories are about yourself, other people, habits that you have, beliefs that you follow, stories that you’ve been telling and what parts of it really represent you, the way you feel, the way you see things and how you believe, then rework the story into an uplifting and pleasing story that fits with who you are.

Call the Story Out – in other words whatever you’ve been telling yourself, rethink and rephrase it to self-supporting narratives. If your stories are out of sync with who you really are, it is important to rewrite them so you are consciously creating a positive visual you can align with. Each and every word we say projects an image of who we believe we are, how we treat ourselves and others, whether we act or react or if we live with a loving or harsh approach to live. The way to build a better world is to start within ourselves.

Empower Rather Disempower Yourself – Create a positive future for yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone and rewriting your self-narratives. We are the only ones on our journey, writing our story as we proceed each day. Like the words you write, the thoughts you have and the words you speak can be transitioned to empowering and positive stories that manifest gifts into your life that meet your wants and needs and fulfill a positive image of who you are.

When you live mindfully, you’ll come to understand that life never happens to you, it happens for you, no matter what the event. Events are neutral, it is the way we perceive what happens and what we say about the events we live that determines their impact. You can’t not have a story. Think of yourself as in a constant, developing relationship with your life: view your life as a partner and a whole, rather than a series of circumstances and events. See your life as a canvas that can be re-painted any way and at any time. What story do you want to tell yourself and those around you?

Final thoughts, everything we say is based on our attitude. Neutralize life, see it as a span of time with an undetermined number of years to go through our life experiences. We can either adapt and endure with a reactive attitude to situations 24/7 or think of our life as a blank canvas, creating each part of our story as we go along, responding in any way that’s in line with who we are.

Jodie Rogers is a coach, facilitator and skills trainer guiding professionals, individuals and corporate teams who need clarity, momentum and greater self-awareness to enable change to happen.

Expert Advice from Benjamin Button: “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you are not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.