Monday, April 3

This Eternal Optimist Has a New Theme Song

I am an eternal optimist. There I said it. And I'll own it. I always look on the bright side.  

I'm a marketer - how could I be anything but optimistic? My job is to build brands and you can't do that with pessimism. 

And I'm a dad - how could I be anything but optimistic? My job is to build the physical and emotional wellbeing of my children and you certainly can't do that with pessimism. 

I don't mean to sound Pollyanna. Let me tell you that I have faced criticism my entire professional life for being optimistic. I've been discounted many a time for being positive in the midst of a business storm. I've been accused of not recognizing problems. For me, the only point of talking about a problem is about how to fix it. See, optimistic!

I'll own it. I don't care - it's my brand. 

So you can imagine my sheer delight when I finally - finally - saw La La Land.

Talk about optimism! I was in my glory. I love looking at life through rose-colored glasses! A traffic jam should be an excuse to get out of your car to sing and dance. There really truly is nothing better than another day of sun.

At the route of optimism is the dream. You can't possibly dream if you aren't optimistic. You can't be optimistic if you don't have a dream you want to come true. City of Stars just may be my new theme song.

But I also think that what sparks the dream is struggle.  Struggle comes shining through in La La Land as well.  You can't dream without having to work hard for it. Really hard. Suffer even. For me, and for La La Land, adversity sparks intense optimism - because there's also a strong desire to get out of it. 

Trust me - I've been there. I was a divorced, single, gay dad long before any of it was discussed, accepted, or dare I say embraced. I heard the comments and felt the backstabs. I had to make major career choices to take care of my family and was criticized for it at the time. 

So don't take away my optimism. It's who I am and who I aspire to be. I want to live in La La Land where every day is a new possibility where no dream is to big. To tell you the truth, I'm already living there!

Are you an optimist? What's your experience?  JIM

PS - This article also appears on Huffington Post. Click here to read it there.  

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