Winning Your Future — Optimism and Career Success

Did you watch the State of the Union address last night?  The theme was “winning the future.”  As I watched I couldn’t help but think that there is some great career advice in those words.  We all need to win our individual future career success.

President Obama closed his speech last night saying that in America “we do big things.”  If you want to create the life and career success you want and deserve, you need to do big things too.

To do big things, you have to be an optimist.  Tweet 42 in my latest career success book Success Tweets says, “Choose optimism.  It builds your self confidence.  Believe that today will be better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better yet.”

Optimism is the key to self confidence and life and career success.  If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a big fan of The Optimist Creed.  I have a copy of it just above my desk.  I look at it several times a day.  It’s the first think I think of when things get rough.

Here is The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

The last point of The Optimist Creed captures the very essence of optimism – “be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”

“Great career advice,” you say.  “But how do I do all that?”  I admit it’s not easy.  I worry sometimes.  Sometimes I get angry.  Sometimes I’m scared; and sometimes I let my troubles bog me down. 

However, as I soon as I recognize the symptoms of worry, anger and fear, I choose to let them go and focus on the positive things I can do to deal with them.  Focusing on the positive things you can do to deal with problems and setbacks is great career success advice.  I follow it in my own life.

Free will is one of the great things about being human.  We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we will react to it.  I choose to react in a positive way to the bad stuff that happens.  You should too.  It’s the only way to create the life and career success you want and deserve.

When I’m feeling fearful I embrace that fear.  I admit it and accept it.  Then I do whatever it takes to get past it.  Recently, I spent a lot of time and effort – not to mention money – to get my new career success book  Success Tweets, finished.  You can download a free copy at http://www.SuccessTweets.com.

Every time I write a book I’m a little bit afraid that no one will read it.  Or worse yet, people will read it and hate it.  I can’t control whether or not people will read or like my books.  I can control, however, the amount of time and effort I put into the writing, editing and design of my books.  My editor and designer will tell you how I obsess over every detail of my books.  I do the best I can to make sure they are the very best I can do. 

And you know what?  Every book I’ve written is better than the previous one.  That’s because I spend a lot of time listening to the feedback I get on my books. 

I follow my own career advice.  I use the feedback I get on my books to do better the next time.  I’m not afraid of negative feedback.  I don’t get angry when people tell me they don’t like what I’ve written.  I ask them why they don’t like it, and what I can do to make my next book better. 

I know that by the time one of my books is published, it’s the very best I can do,  I don’t worry about what people will think.  I am happy because in my heart of hearts, I know I did the best I could do.  I can control my effort.  I can’t control how others will receive what I’ve written.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a movie that really highlights the tenth point in The Optimist Creed.   It’s the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jean-Do to his friends.  Mr. Bauby was the editor of Elle, the Paris fashion magazine, when he had a paralyzing stroke.  He was left completely paralyzed, able only to blink his left eye. 

Think about this for a second.  Mr. Bauby’s mind was fine.  He could still think.  Only, he could do nothing physical for himself.  People had to bathe him and clean up after him.  He was trapped in his own body – what he referred to as being in a “diving bell.”

As you can imagine, at first Mr. Bauby was despondent and wanted to die.  However he found immense strength and was able to write his memoir over a period of 14 months, one blink at a time. 

His speech therapist arranged the alphabet in a manner that began with the most commonly used letters.  At first she, then later his ex wife, would sit with him and recite the letters.  When he heard the letter he wanted, he would blink.  When he came to end of a word, he would blink twice.

I sometimes find it difficult to write sitting at my computer and will full use of my hands and body.  What Mr. Bauby accomplished in writing his memoir is nothing short of remarkable.  His ability to write a memoir in such a painstaking manner proved that he truly was “too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.” 

Mr. Bauby passed away in 1997 shortly after his book was published.  However, his book and movie, both called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, are a testament to the spirit of man, not to mention the power of optimism.  In his review of the film, Roger Ebert, who has dealt with his share of challenges, called Mr. Bauby’s accomplishment “heroic”.  I agree. 

The common sense career success coach point about the last point in The Optimist Creed is simple to grasp, but can be difficult to put into practice.  Instead of worrying what people think, do the absolute best you can on everything you do.  Instead of getting angry when things don’t go your way, figure out what you can do next time to get the result you want.  Instead of being paralyzed by fear, identify what scares you and embrace it.  Then do something constructive to beat that fear.  Finally, instead of letting trouble get you down, keep working and believing in yourself. 

Most important, keep moving forward.  As the old saying goes “tough times never last, but tough people always do.”  If you want to win the future and create the career success you deserve, become someone who does big things.  Doing big things begins with having the optimism necessary to begin and keep moving forward

I have created a .pdf of The Optimist Creed that you can frame and hang in your office, just like me.  If you want one, please go to http://BudBilanich.com/optimist.  Once you get your copy, think about those ten points and how they apply to you and your life every day.  They will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s my take on the career advice in The Optimist Creed.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for taking the time to read my career advice.  I appreciate you for reading and commenting.

Bud

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