In our last +1, we started talking about book #3 in Darrin Donnelly’s Sports for the Soul series: Relentless Optimism.
Then I called an audible and we chatted about Michael Jordan and Stuart Smalley and how to Forge Antifragile Confidence.
Today we’re going to come back to Relentless Optimism.
Here’s how Darrin puts it: “Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes. Study after study proves this. Researchers have found that optimistic people live longer, live healthier, have more energy, have more successful careers, make better decisions, are more productive, are less stressed, have healthier relationships, and (not surprisingly) are much happier than pessimists.”
Darrin continues by saying: “However, a lot has been misunderstood about what it means to be a positive thinker and what it takes to maintain an optimistic outlook.”
He tells us: “It requires more than repeating feel-good platitudes to make positive thinking work in your life. It takes discipline, commitment, and a proper understanding of what optimism really means in a world that is constantly throwing new challenges at us.”
Relentless OPTIMISM is a LOT more powerful than relentlessly reciting positive platitudes to yourself.
In fact, one of the reasons why I loved (!) this book so much is that Darrin provides one of the absolute best, most-practical distillations of Martin Seligman’s research on the science of optimism I’ve ever read.
More on that in our next +1.
Let’s recall that, back in the day, we made the distinction between “positive” and “negative” and “neutral” thinking in our Notes on Trevor Moawad’s It Takes What It Takes.
I extended those basic ideas to create what we now call “Targeted Thinking.”
In an effort to move from Theory to Practice to Mastery Together TODAY, let’s Focus our Energy on What’s Important Now via some quick Targeted Thinking practice.
Step 0. FLIP THE SWITCH.
Invite the best, most Heroic version of yourself to join us. Sit up a little taller. Pull the thread your head. Chest up. Chin down. Inhale through your nose down into your diaphragm. Exhale back out through your nose—slightly longer than your inhale. Smile.
Step 1. RADICALLY ACCEPT everything in your life.
And by EVERYTHING I mean EVERYTHING. And by RADICALLY ACCEPT I mean LOVE IT ALL. Act as if you and the Heroic gods SCRIPTED THESE CHALLENGES into your life so we get to see you (the Hero!) show us what you got.
Step 2. Ask yourself: “WHAT DO I WANT?”
If you feel so inspired, write that down in big font on the top of a blank piece of paper. I’ve done this DOZENS and DOZENS of times. Then answer the question.
Step 3. Ask yourself: “WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET IT?”
Again, write that down below what you want. Get clear. Have multiple pathways. Know your first plan probably won’t survive first contact with reality. Perfect. WOOP your Plans for those Obstacles.
Step +1. Ask yourself: “NOW WHAT NEEDS TO GET DONE?”
Then go do it.
Today’s the Day, Hero.
Let’s show up like we mean it as we practice our philosophy.
With Targeted Thinking and Heroic action!
And… RELENTLESS OPTIMISM.
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