Elisabet Hearn and I wrote this article for 2020visionleader.com
Do you assume things will go well? Do you dare take sensible risk, believing in yourself whilst doing so? Do you keep being optimistic even when things go wrong and you have to try a new way out? Do you see plenty of opportunities around you?
And do you at the same time stop and think about the practicalities of it all? How long it will take? If you have the resources needed? Do you think about what’s going on in the market and how that might impact your plan? Do you stare reality in the face without fear or hesitation?
Then you’re a realistic optimist – and there is no better way to start the year.
Clever of you. You see, realistic optimism has the perfect balance of reality and optimism.
It’s the perfect marriage of a cool head and a sunny outlook.
Your realism forces you to assess all relevant facts and circumstances – and your optimism keeps you going forward towards the goal.
But at the same time, the optimism is the overarching driver. There’s a relentlessness in there that often increases the chances of good outcomes.
Optimism on its own can easily become a rosy-eyed dream and nothing more.
And optimists that try to convince someone else is often disregarded as someone who is having their head in the clouds.
Whereas realistic optimists can rally support through a more complete picture, of both practicalities and hope.
And there is scientific evidence that realistic optimism is a competence that we can develop. The research also shows that optimists maintain a healthier lifestyle and live longer.
Think of the year that stretched out ahead of you. How will you use your realistic optimism as a way of achieving your goals? How can you get that balance right? How can you create a bright future?
Yes, to a realistic optimistic, the future is bright, because they are going to make sure it happens, not just dream about it.