Optimism is my favorite flavor.

9 Mar

I’m a big believer in change. I’m usually optimistic enough to enjoy it, too. I plan for it, look forward to it, and want to know what’s coming when the page turns and the new day dawns.

More importantly, I know to the bottom of my bottom that when things aren’t right, the answer is change. Even when that change is truly difficult.*

I’m also creative. I live to come up with elegant, lithe, new solutions that delight the senses or fix a problem. I also prefer they be efficient, fast, and cheap. I’m demanding, and my skills are building to the point where if I can’t make the solution I want, I can probably find somebody who I might be able to talk into it. At least, that’s what I think when I’m optimistic.

Without the optimism, there’s not a heck of a lot of new creativity. I know I can boost my hopefulness level by making things – anything, really, as long as I’m actively being creative. But the sweet making-space of creativity comes when my hopefulness tanks are topped off and I’m raring to go.

So the important flipside realization is this: Change minus Optimism equals Destruction. When the answer is change, but I’m full of frustration instead of hope – that’s when things go south. If I can’t make it better, at least I can change it–by smashing it, if necessary. Nuking from orbit. Macerating to a pulp. Grinding into oblivion. Deleting whole paragraphs. Tossing the prototype into the garbage. Setting on fire. Telling the leadership exactly what I think of their ideas.

So that’s what I learned about myself today. I’m hopeful I’ll remember this little insight the next time I want to storm into someone’s office and tell them exactly what I think is wrong with their project.



* Duh, right? Wrong. Remember the last time you found out by surprise that things you thought weren’t bad, actually were horrible? Like when your kid was found doing drugs, and you thought everything was OK, but now it isn’t, and you need to rearrange the whole family’s schedules so that someone is at home every afternoon. Or maybe like how US citizens felt when their overseas “liberating force” was determined to be covering up cruel human rights abuses in their own military prisons. Very tough for them to get behind making a change, even though it was obvious that change needed to happen. Got it now?


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