Fight for Bright: 3 Aspects of Asset Based Thinking

Pessimists feel optimistic about Murphy’s law.

I’m so much of a pessimist that I think optimists are faking.

Murphy's Law

Talking about optimism irritates true pessimists.

I’m not alone. Pessimists – people who see the real world – are everywhere. Murphy, our hero, affirms our dark beliefs. Pessimists light up and heads nod when you say, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Oh yeah!

The fight:

Negative bias is normal, natural, and when things are dark, useful.

See it before fighting it.

Lousy leaders, like tender hearted grandmothers, minimize problems and challenges in the false hope it motivates. They say, “It’s not that bad.” But you know bad is 5X stronger than good.

Leaders who spout, “Everything’s great,”
are raging against the fear it isn’t.

Even when things are going well, I keep waiting for something to go wrong. I have shoe-drop thinking. Wait long enough and bad will happen. Then I can say, “See, I told you.”

The choice:

I’m getting good at choosing optimism. When I tell people I’m a pessimist, they say it doesn’t seem like it. I still feel a bit like a faker, but I’m dedicated to the choice.

But, it’s not enough to keep repeating, “I’m positive,” when I know it’s not true. I need tools.

Kathy Cramer wrote, Lead Positive, for pessimists like me.The tools of Asset Based Thinking (ABT) explain the path to optimistic leadership.

  1. Focus more on what you stand to gain than what you stand to lose.
  2. See your strengths in greater measure than your weaknesses.
  3. Observe the best efforts and attitudes of people around you five times more often than you notice their shortcomings.

Cramer’s ideas represent decisions to focus on opportunities, strengths, and progress.

What does the path from pessimism to optimism look like?

Go to Facebook to see reader responses to, “Develop a positive attitude by ____.”