• Dave Beam

Brutal Optimism



Have you ever felt down? We live in a challenging world. It feels like we are a warrior being attacked from all sides.


I want to bring you encouragement for the battle. We can’t change the weather, the business environment, your whiny banker, or the bureaucracy. But I challenge you to go to work on something that you can change…..YOURSELF.


Do you agree that your success is greatly influenced by your attitude? Certainly there are circumstances beyond your control, but your attitude is the key to your perseverance, readiness, creativity, energy, humility, and resilience. Ultimately, it is your inner stance and attitude that determines success.


Who is more likely to succeed? The optimist, the realist, or the pessimist. Which attitude is most effective for business and life? Optimism, realism, or pessimism? Most admit that pessimism (being down, depressed, sour, and always focusing on what is wrong and doesn’t work) is not a recipe for success. No one enjoys a complainer. Pessimism is simply a nasty habit.


Most people believe realism as the best alternative to pessimism. After all, airy fairy optimists fail to see the real picture. All they see is hearts and flowers and sunshine. They live in denial, a happy world that only exists between their ears. Business and life are tough and should be taken seriously. It is difficult now days to make it as a business owner, right? It is naive to expect to have great success in this current market and environment, wouldn’t you agree? I would not agree!!


Most people believe realism as the best alternative to pessimism. After all, airy fairy optimists fail to see the real picture. All they see is hearts and flowers and sunshine. They live in denial, a happy world that only exists between their ears. Business and life are tough and should be taken seriously. It is difficult now days to make it as a business owner, right? It is naïve to expect to have great success in this current market and environment, wouldn’t you agree? I would not agree!!


That leaves optimism. It is the attitude of hope. The belief that things will work out. You will eventually succeed. Recent scientific studies indicate that optimists are healthier, more successful, have stronger marriages, better relationships, and overall live longer and happier lives. They tend to make life better for themselves and others. Check it out for yourself if you need the facts. Upbeat. Hopeful. Joyful. Success oriented. Persevering.


Some kick back at optimism and say that optimists need to get their heads out of the clouds and get real. Smiles and cheerfulness lack the maturity and common sense needed to survive in a cold and cruel world. Such folks say that optimism is a form of denial; a refusal to look at problems and the brutal ugliness of business and life. It is a form of mental weakness and denial.


If you have a desire to be realistic and also maintain optimism, I have good news. There is an alternative mindset to pessimism, so-called realism, and airy fairy optimism, called brutal optimism.


Please consider….


Brutal optimists don’t stick their heads in the sand and ignore reality. Rather, they look directly at the problem and smile. A brutal optimist knows that outcomes are more influenced by their responses, rather than the conditions themselves. They accept and appreciate all four seasons, including winter. A brutal optimist understands that spring follows winter, and that if they plant in the spring, and cultivate in the summer, there will likely be a harvest in the fall. Problems are for solving, not just discussed. The brutal optimist welcomes and embraces problems as gifts that bring opportunity.


Brutal optimists realize that a positive, upbeat attitude is essential to keep the creative juices flowing. Creativity is needed to address difficult challenges. Brutal optimists understand that reality is perceived, and that people find what they look for. They look straight at problems, and then take great joy in seeking creative solutions. They know problems and difficulties are their means of getting better. Brutal optimists are effective leaders that enroll their team and their customers to stand with them and help them brainstorm possibilities and create amazing solutions.


Brutal optimists are the real deal. They are accountable, analytical, and brutally honest about the what is occurring. They stare life right in the face, and then choose to be hopeful, persevering, and believing. They don’t DENY what is, but fully embrace what is and then take action to positively affect what can be changed, and joyfully accept what cannot be changed. Brutal optimism is choosing to consider all possibilities and then act. It is the discipline to be positive while facing difficulty. It is a rough, tough, kind and gentle view of the world all rolled into one. Brutal optimists face all the facts of the circumstance, the good, the bad, the ugly, and then choose to engage in positive action and response. They reject mediocrity and failure.


What difficulties are you facing? Look carefully and distinguish between what is occurring and your perception of what is occurring. Much of what you believe as true may only appear to be true. You may not be able to change what is occurring, but you can always shift your perception. I challenge you to embrace optimism, and then take another look at your situation. An optimistic mindset will help you create responses that will improve the outcome. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you can always grow stronger through difficult experiences. Be brutally honest with the facts, and then choose optimism. Optimism fuels perseverance, and perseverance gets the problem addressed.


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