Creating the Conditions for Optimism

When was the last time you told a story about the way things will be?

Difficult to recall?

When was the last time you pointed out the problems that exist or the bad things that have recently occurred? Not so difficult to ID that one right?!

I don’t normally do old, Greek or dead geezers quotes. I’ll make an exception for this blog as it works so well:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”  Antoine de Saint-Expurey

To create the conditions for optimism (and why wouldn’t you?) people need something to look forward to. They’ll then need to understand their contribution to that future secnario and what’s in it for them when they get there. I don’t think George Osborne gets this at all.

Telling them that the tools are knackered, that the sea is rough, that the journey is arduous, the work is mundane and their destination is not much to look forward too – wears a bit thin over time.  (Mind you Shackleton’s famous recruitment advert was dark – except it pointed to fame and glory: “Men Wanted: for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”)

Try for a week conversing about the way things will be. Notice how optimistic you become by spreading optimism.

I know some people will want to add their piece on the place for pessimism or ‘realism’ as they arrogantly call it – save your breath – I want to hang around and work with optimistic future focused adventurers.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.


  1. Hi

    I completely agree.

    As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I spend my time encouraging my clients to describe how they would like things to be. They invariably say something like ‘I won’t be stressed’ or ‘I won’t be arguing with the children first thing in the morning’. That’s like saying ‘Don’t think of elephants’ or Googling ‘Not florists in Exeter’.

    It sometimes takes a while for clients develop a more positive, optimistic outlook on the future, but when they do, they start to make real progress. And as you say, when you become happier, those around you become happier – it’s like a ripple effect.

    Great post!