Maintaining optimism in a world gone mad

It’s another Monday and people head to work amid headlines that can only make you shake your head. A man ax-murders his mother. The world reels from unimaginable violence. Cancer is on the rise. Kids are angrier than ever. People are calling one another vile names, arguing over intentions, and threatening retaliation. What’s going on here?

Change the dates, names, locations, and events, and you realize that this kind of chaos has existed since the world began. (Let’s not take time right now to debate that particular subject again.) Conflict is inherent in our existence. Look at how wild Mother Nature can be!

It’s tough to be optimistic sometimes, but without hope, we’re all doomed. I know people who say that hope is a silly euphemism for ignorance, that in fact we are all doomed, whether we have hope or not. I stay away from those people.

And that’s one way to maintain a sense of optimism. Stay away from negativity. Avoid people who love to drag others into meaningless, energy-wasting arguments. Forget about trying to convince pessimists that this thing or the other is working. Sidestep them and work on things that create success and goodness for yourself and others you care about.

I’ll admit that this sounds simple, even simplistic. But I challenge you to have the discipline not to argue when you hear someone say something stupid. I challenge you to be strong in the face of skepticism and to maintain an open and positive attitude when headlines from around the world seem to suggest that goodness has fled the scene, maybe permanently. When you demonstrate optimism, you help others find reason to do good work, too. Remember, you teach and lead by who you are, regardless of what’s going on in the world.

Remember, too, what industrialist Harry Kaiser said, “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.”

Categories: Leadership

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.