Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to Choose Optimism #6 Don't Believe It Was Better Before ('Carpe Diem')

Being optimistic means living in the present without constantly encumbering ourselves with the idea that it was better before or that happiness will come later. Said French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville, “There is no point in hoping for what one doesn’t have without enjoying what one does have.” By not being fully in the moment we may miss satisfying experiences.

It is a philosophy of happiness. It’s in the here and now, in the carpe diem (‘seize the day’) of the ancients, that you should learn from your failures and successes, improve yourself, not pass up opportunity and, of course, never put things off. What you do today determines what will happen tomorrow. Your decisions and actions influence your tomorrow in some way. So, if you want to have more success, a better relationship, a healthier body, or anything else, then make the most of today and do the things that will help you get where you want to be…

…don’t believe it was better before
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

How to Choose Optimism #5 Put Things in Perspective

Why take the full force of everything that happens to us? Instead, take a step back and put an event into perspective by comparing it with others that we have experienced. That’s not distancing ourselves from reality – it’s actually giving its rightful place. To those who doubt this, I recommend listening to the stories of people who had cancer from early period and who were fighting and even finding new reasons to live and hope. I’ve been with students at hospital and most of them displayed incredible desire to improve their mindsets.

Joel Osteen, a motivational teacher, once said: “Nothing happens to you, it happens for you. See the positive in negative events.” When things happen “to” you, you feel helpless and victimized. However, if you look at things as happening “for” you, then you take some of your power back. This allows you to look at the lessons and blessings (a.k.a. silver linings) within anything you might experience. Give the right and positive perspective from your experience.

How important are your frustrations and upsets, really?
Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How to Be Innovative #2 Don't Think About Failure, Think About What Have You Learned

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat
Steve Jobs, 2010

Many of us are brought up believing that failure is a bad thing. Our early childhood experiences typically involve being laughed-at for getting things wrong. Although we have to learn the difference between right and wrong and what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’, we are often not taught how to learn from our mistakes.

The famous inventor Thomas Edison story tells of how he invented the light bulb. He tried more than 2,000 experiments before he got the electric bulb to work (although, I suspects that it was not exactly 2,000 experiments. It just mean lots of failed experiments). A reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times, Edison responded, “I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2,000 step process.” At every stage, he learnt what worked and what did not. If he had given up at stage one, the world would be a darker place today!

The problem we have today is that we have a low tolerance for failure, especially in evangelism and business environment. Failure or the perception of failure is often treated with dismissal, although the reality is that although the expected results may not have been achieved, those involved learned a valuable lesson. A 1976 study carried out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, on the reasons for major engineering failures, found insufficient knowledge to be their primary cause. The more information we have, the less likely we are to fail, so engineers today are more likely to get things right by learning from what didn’t work in the past.

This is true for all aspects of our lives, whether it is work, at home or during leisure. We need to learn from our mistakes rather than trying to forget them and move on. In every situation, it can be worthwhile jotting down or take a mental note on what has worked and what hasn’t. Commits it to memory because it can provide a useful reference when you face a similar situation or a new challenge. Don’t think about failure, instead think about unexpected outcome!

Practical Suggestions:

§  If something hasn’t worked, don’t focus on the failure, instead think about what did work and learn from it
§  Think about what hasn’t worked for you in the past and reflect on how you dealt with the situation and what you leaned. What this a positive or negative or growing experience? Did you come out of the situation a better person?

Lord, Give Us Today Our Daily Idea(s)

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