We all have challenges. We have families, employees, projects, teams, budgets, deadlines, and setbacks. What is there a lot of in life? Manure.

Yet, with practice, you can train yourself to be more optimism in life, to live well and create a leadership legacy. Even in all the manure, there are plenty of ponies to be had should you choose to practice optimism in your life.

Optimism is an important ingredient in legacy leadership. Optimism is addicting to be around. Optimism expands your leadership ability. Optimism can help you take your next garage to goliath step.

Optimism doesn’t have to be an inherent character trait, nor does pessimism have to be an inherent character foible. Rather you can practice optimism and make it a way of being, no matter your predisposition.

3 Ways to Practice Optimism in Your Life

  1. Change Your Lexicon – Practice the slightest change in your word choice. Try using the word challenge instead of the word problem. The word problem inherently has a negative connotation. Thus, you focus your energy on repairing something that is wrong—something that is negative. The word challenge beckons you to see new opportunities and frees you to focus your attention on creating a positive outcome rather than just attacking a malfunction. Winston Churchill once said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Choose your words wisely and your attitude will follow.

  2. Give Yourself Grace – It is difficult to be optimistic in the midst of adversity and affliction. For some, it is easier to give grace to others, while withholding grace from yourself. To practice and pursue optimism in your life, give yourself grace as much as possible. You will inevitably fail, fall short, and flounder. Take heart. Hard times make us, so give yourself grace through the gaffes and snafus. Giving grace to yourself helps you to become more optimistic.

  3. Mind Your Gaze – That which you gaze upon, you become. What you spend your time thinking about and how you choose to think about it will become the lens through which you create your reality. Gaze upon goodness, despite the many reasons to focus on despair. Gaze on opportunity, despite present crisis. Gaze on the best attributes of a circumstance (or a spouse), instead of all you wish you could change right this second. You will enjoy life more and be more enjoyable to others. That which you gaze upon, you become.

Deliberately incorporate one of these optimism practices today and for the rest of this week. Then next week, add in the next optimism practice, and on week three, add in the third optimism practice.

Making little changes along the way can help you go from garage to goliath.

 Lead well,

p.s. – Thanks for listening! Please rate, review, and subscribe to my leadership podcast on iTunesSpotify, and/or SoundCloud.