Please enjoy this excerpt from one of the latest Blossie@work book:
Blue Skies Ahead!
Positive expectation is an empowering habit more likely to help us create career or business breakthroughs for ourselves than any education or experience. It’s a way of working built on the determination to create a job we love or a business of our own, rather than have one dropped on us and shaped by circumstances.
Beautiful someone, when we work with a sense of positive expectation — the belief that not only is a positive outcome possible, it’s just a matter of time before we create it — we grow into a special kind of invincible, impossible to knock off course…
- Disappointments start to look more like second chances (“I can learn something worthwhile from this”), and the glass looks half full (“I didn’t get the project, but I wrote a great proposal I can use with the next prospect”).
- We take a pass at being insulted and instead actually strengthen a relationship by giving someone the benefit of the doubt (“Kai’s usually so level-headed. This is really unusual for him”).
- We start expecting — and getting — the best from people (“Ben’s team will definitely make this work,” “I have total faith in Dana’s project management skills”) and overlooking mistakes to focus on someone’s strengths (“We didn’t make the deadline because of the error, but Cierra’s got an incredible eye for detail. It’s so great she found the mistake”).
Optimism at its best
And we won’t even need a calamity to put positive expectation to work. Actually, optimism is at its most powerful as a proactive strategy we use every day, when our overall outlook is hopeful in genuine anticipation of good things to come, and our self-talk deliberately amps up the opportunities and shushes obstacles…and I do mean shushes. When the temptation to give in to “I can’t/don’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t…” arises, we say — out loud if we have to — “Shhh!…
…I am not going there.”
…I’ve already decided [fill in the blank]. I don’t need to rethink it, and I’m not going to give up.”
…that’s just a bunch of negative junk. I know things will work out if I stay focused.”
…I’m working on that. It won’t change overnight, but I’ll get there.”
The late Beverly Sills, one of the best-known opera singers of the 1960s and 70s, earned the nickname “Bubbles” because of her effervescent personality and positive outlook. In spite of a lot of personal pain in her life, she radiated an authentic cheerfulness that told you she wasn’t successful in spite of her difficulties, or even because of them. She was successful because she refused to let them control and define her life.
“A primary function of art and thought,” she once said, “is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of culture…and permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.” An autonomy of perception and judgment. What a freeing thought! My brain, my rules. I decide what I expect, plan, say…and ultimately what I achieve.
We all know a Beverly Sills…
…someone whose natural positivity defies their personal circumstances. These are amazing people. Let’s follow their example because, when it comes to real-life heroes of positive expectation, it just doesn’t get much better.
Positive expectation is a timeless secret for mental, emotional, and even physical stamina. Think about the Apollo 13 ground crew for whom failure was “not an option.”
Or Thomas Edison, the man who literally enlightened the world saying of his many failed attempts to invent the lightbulb, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways that don’t work.”
Around the corner
Beautiful someone, in these and countless other stories, optimism — not just the belief that a positive outcome was possible, but the expectation that one was just around the corner — gave them mental, emotional, and even physical strength to stay on course until their goals and dreams became reality.