And if all else fails, just remember that this isn’t about you

Sign on the line which is dotted. Welcome to the team.

Image for post
Image for post

There’s a simple acid test to determine what kind of attitude a potential job candidate has.

When the shit hits the fan, do they focus on what they can to do improve their situation, or do they find more excuses to justify their problems?

Optimists will typically choose what’s behind door number one. They will reveal a resourceful, abundant, forward thinking and life giving approach with their circumstances. And that generative energy inspires persistence in the face of obstacles, both for themselves and others.

Pessimists, on the other hand, will typically choose what’s behind door number two. They will hold a sterile, scarce, regretful and victim based posture towards their circumstances. And that poisonous mojo will drag down the momentum, both of themselves and others.

Which candidate would you rather have on your team?

Clearly, the person behind door number one. These individuals are clinically proven to have stronger coping skills, better stamina, greater resilience and, in general, add more joy to the organization.

Sign on the line which is dotted. Welcome to the team.

But none of that is new or surprising information. What is more compelling is the lurking interpersonal challenge that happens next.

Once an optimist comes on board, how will that person deal with the inevitable contempt and hostility from their pessimistic counterparts?

Because make no mistake, this is a very real thing. Hope scares people. Enthusiasm is strangely threatening.

Having worked at four different companies of varying sizes in the past several years, I can attest that the curse of optimism is no joke. And it’s not specific to any one industry or geography. It’s everywhere. And it’s very difficult to deal with.

One coworker of mine famously took me aside one afternoon and told me that I was laughing too much during the day and it was starting to stress out the other employees. Perhaps I could take my positive energy into the other room so it wasn’t such a disruption.

Now there’s something they don’t teach you in business school.

Kierkegaard famously wrote that for without possibility a man cannot draw breath. That’s ultimately why companies hire optimists. That individual’s full bodied yes to life oxygenates the organization. Possibility will have no trouble finding room for them.

But lest we forget, the other thing that finds optimists is that very human, very visceral resistance to their beaming white hope.

Just be ready. Steel yourself. Find a way to trample all over people’s cynicism adorably. Have faith that your love will wear them down eventually.

And if all else fails, just remember that this isn’t about you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you focusing on what you can to do improve your situation, or are you finding more excuses to justify your problems?

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store