Monday, July 23, 2012

Measurable Results

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
-Winston Churchill

We were shopping two weeks ago and my son picked up a bottle that looked like something a genie might float out of with some colored smoke. He said “What would it be like if we were all born with 100 wishes?” My immediate response was, “We are all born with an unlimited supply, so why stop yourself at 100.” 
I was quite impressed with my reaction, because it was so genuine and because it came about right after I had spent the past month studying childlike optimism. Through reading several books on the topic and a little intentional practice, a little of that magical optimism rubbed off on me!
Yes, I know this is a very subjective way of measuring results. But something else happened shortly after that genie in a bottle conversation that really put my self congratulatory theory to the test. When my son crashed his ATV and we learned both of his wrists were broken and would be useless for 8 weeks, my immediate reaction was this will be an opportunity for us to be closer.
Considering my son had free reign in Southern California with a friend’s family for a week, he was non-plussed when I arrived with his little sister. You could see it on his face as we drove up,”Oh, here comes rules behind the wheel with regulations yapping from her car seat.” The trip started with my son pre-occupied with his incoming texts and his best friend/partner in crime. Post accident, he was completely dependent on me. Which could have gone a number of ways. But instead of resentment, frustration or embarrassment, we are really bonding. We have inside jokes. I know how he likes his pillows fluffed. He is fully embracing being babied.

It is amazing to me that only a month after failing the Stanford University Optimism Quiz, I could be drinking from a half-full glass again so quickly and effortlessly. It makes me excited to see where a month of intentional awareness will lead.

Is there a circumstance that has recently happened to you where your gut reaction was either pessimistic or optimistic?

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