And the winner is Optimism!

Tis’ the season for awards after all. 
Okay, before you reach for the bucket this isn’t just happy, jolly January, ‘go for it’ speak, so bear with me for a moment.
There is compelling research out there that states;
       Optimists typically make 30% more sales
       Optimists generally bounce back faster after adversity
       Optimists use a different, more positive explanatory style
       Optimists try harder
       Optimists succeed
And because of all this they are generally healthier, wealthier, have greater life expectancy, better relationships and success.   
Well, if that’s not a reason to find one’s inner optimist I don’t know what is?

As many of you know, I’m an inner biker (the outer one falls off a lot) and fan of Charley Boorman. He must be one of the most optimistic people out there.  Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure is currently showing on Channel 5 and in last week’s episode he successfully navigated the Sani Pass in appalling weather. Unsurprisingly, this journey, leading a path through the mountains in Lesotho commenced on two wheels but sheet ice forced the intrepid biker to jump into a 4X4 when progress came to a halt. When the mechanical mountain goat started to slide uncontrollably toward the edge, the film crew leapt to safety, Charley didn’t, and was rewarded with one of the most stunning views on the planet, amongst other things. It made fabulous viewing for us all at home too; http://bit.ly/VlQNjy
The point is optimism takes us further. It widens our repertoire and resources to deal with whatever it is that life has put along our path and therefore we generally benefit along the way.  Be it in business or personally.
The simplest way to start that shift towards an optimistic outlook and way of life is to be grateful and express gratitude for what we have ,rather than what we don’t.   
Think of three things that you’re grateful for, truly grateful for, otherwise it won’t work!
It might be a relationship, a friend, kids, your job, your boss, a holiday, a book, chocolate, the snow  – doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it is yours and you mean it.  
How did that make you feel?
Then repeat it, daily if possible.
For the cynics out there and I know you’re there, a healthy dose of defensive pessimism isn’t a bad place to start, the end goal being strategic optimism. I.e. instead of the very optimistic ‘’I can do this’’ the toned down, more tactical and strategic optimism of  “what will it take to achieve this’. 
If you’re having a struggle finding your inner optimist, you know where we are and we’d be delighted to help.
Wishing you an optimistic and successful 2013. 
Further reading: Martin Seligman, Authentic Happiness and Positive Psychology.  http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/


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2013 begins at the end of your comfort zone

As Walt Disney magically said’ If you can dream it, you can do it”. 
 
I’ve recently been fortunate to meet three very inspiring people, Rob Jonas, Business Leader (and extreme sports competitor), Liz Dimmock who is cycling around the world next year not only to beat a record but also to raise a £1m for charity (Worldride2013.com), and Leah Dunthorne, an Olympic coach.  All inspiring in very different ways, though with the utter, unshakeable belief in what they CAN do.
 
Many of us however, might feel that the self-belief required to achieve whatever others do or even more importantly what we want to do for ourselves, is unpredictable at best. Self-belief, with-out wishing to ‘personalise’ it, sometimes appears to have the power to depart at the critical moment.
 
All is not lost, the message from these individuals is also that you can always find some-one to help you out and get you started.  Pick whatever it is and find a willing helper to assist  you and your self-belief along the way. There are passionate people everywhere. 
 
What are you dreaming about that actually, you can do and who will help you get started?
 
Might 2013 be the year that you turned the dream to reality, there’s a movie there somewhere…….
 
Have a fabulous New Year, look forward to hearing about your plans for this year, sometime soon.