Optimistic Discontent

Hope is optimistic discontent. Every act of leadership is an act of optimism.

Pessimists can’t lead.

Any form of contentment that induces slumber degrades you. Be content with your present and discontent with your future. 

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“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Thomas A. Edison

10 expressions of optimistic discontent:

  1. Focus on the next step not the final destination. Big dreams without next steps are futility.
  2. Enjoy success but let it go. Maintain a forward-facing posture.
  3. Leverage current opportunities for service and scan the horizon for new.
  4. Feel gratitude for your growth and discontent with your level of skill and expertise.
  5. Ignore “can’t do” people, but don’t bury your head in the sand. Explore potential problems optimistically. Step up. Don’t give up.
  6. Believe you can rise to new challenges with the help of others.
  7. Be discontent with your contribution to others; optimistic about your capacity to contribute more.
  8. Pull the trigger when you’re 70% to 80% certain.
  9. Stop behaviors that don’t work. Repeating the same mistake indicates dependence on ineffective behaviors. When you’ve been trying to fix a problem, but it persists, don’t blame the problem.
  10. Stop burning energy beating yourself up because you screwed up. Pessimistic discontent ties weights to your feet.

Gratitude requires contentment. Passion requires discontent. 

5 ways to ignite optimistic discontent in others:

Often the thing that changes us is a person who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves.

  1. Accept people where they are. Discontent isn’t about rejecting or belittling. You can’t be antagonistic and exercise positive influence at the same time.
  2. Help people see they matter by appreciating their strengths.
  3. Explore new applications of their strengths and talents. What about…?
  4. Build on small successes rather than criticizing because they could have been more.
  5. Talk about purpose before extending challenge.

How might contentment go wrong?

How might optimism and discontent come together?

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