As promised, I'm providing an Optimist Challenge update.
Much better this go round: I completed the challenge six days out of seven during the last two weeks. Some days I also recorded the effects of thinking optimistically. This allowed me to see just how big my baby steps had been, as well as to provide closure.
What a difference, I declare. Not only did I have a good two weeks notwithstanding real setbacks, I discovered that I adhere to the somewhat erroneous belief that optimism is anticipating that something fabulous is about to happen. A truer definition would be: an optimist perceives that something marvelous is happening now. The grass isn't greener on the other side. It's green right under your feet.
If you don't enjoy the small pieces of whatever it is that your job is, you're probably not going to enjoy the end product when you get there. The best predictor of happiness in the future is enjoying what you are doing right now.
So, here's my follow-up assignment (I'll report back in early August) — I hope it will be yours as well:
Over the next four weeks, I'll include in my personal journal a wrap-up that also includes a list of what about my day was genuinely satisfying. I suspect this will not only lead me to a rosier view of my life, I will also hone in on a dream or two.
For a refresher on inspiration and protocol for the challenge, see Tony Schwartz' post How I Became An Optimist.
You may also enjoy Christine Vick's post Simply Living.
If you are thinking about procrastinating becoming an optimist, take a look at Heidi Grant Halvorson's recent piece.
Finally, consider this quote from Virginia Hinckley Pearce, “You are who you are, you might as well enjoy it.”