Take optimism with a pinch of paper

Thursday, May 08, 2014

How to insure your optimism.

Those of you who have missed my musings over the past few weeks, please accept my apologies. For the foreseeable future I’ll be writing fortnightly, which will be more manageable for us all : )

This fortnights’ blog is inspired –in fact largely written by - Sam Leader, who co edits the great website Flying Solo. She says; - “Most of us will chose hope and positivity over its’ opposite any day of the week. But at times optimism can bear it’s teeth and bite us on the butt".

Optimism is generally agreed to be a Good Thing and is even associated with greatness. The oft-quoted poster sourced from a 1997 Apple advertisement states “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

But being optimistic can cloud our judgement and lead us to underestimate what’s needed to reach a goal. As a result, we can be underprepared and overexposed.

Part of the popularity of the UK house renovation project show ‘Grand Designs’ is to watch such falls from grace. “ Well Kevin” says the typical couple “We’ve budgeted £100,000 and want to move in by Christmas.” Then as sure as eggs are eggs, you see a shot of the incomplete project and a despondent-looking pair owning up to more than doubling their project time and budget’. That’s life. It’s mostly much harder to achieve a goal than our fond dreams and Hollywood lead us to believe. We jump through one hoop just to be confronted by another obstacle. On the other hand, satisfaction and lasting value only ever come from hard work and challenges confronted and overcome.

But before we undertake any goal, and at regular intervals on the journey, we should take some time to properly examine where we are and what is needed to successfully continue. That way we can better decide to put our heads down and tough it out, or to shift our focus to somewhere else. The trick is to know when.
Over 90% of people never achieve financial independence. It’s no coincidence that same % don’t ever write their thoughts, plans or goals. It can be literally the work of minutes. The process of WRITING our goals –or our deep life questions - helps clarify what we want to do in the first place, the difficulties we will encounter and the steps we need to take to overcome those difficulties and ultimately achieve the outcome we want. Sometimes, you’ll want to go for it sometimes not.

At the end of this SMART Goal sheet you’ll be asked if it is worth the time, effort and money.  If you still think you can do it, you probably can. It may be a lot harder than you think. It may not change the world, - but it sure can change you. And think of the satisfaction you’ll feel and skills you’ll learn from overcoming those hurdles, hoops and challenges.

All the Best,