THE OPTIMISTS - Janice Allen

Principal, Forge Consulting

Sunday, November 11, 2018

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It seemed the right thing to do ahead of diving straight into the 'silly season', and in this time of incredible love and hate, confidence and fear, fake news and alternative truths, to hear shared voices of optimism. SO asked the question: What's your take on optimism?


If I allowed myself to focus on the myriad of messages coming at me from just about every angle about the doom of the earth, I would lock myself in a room and never come out. From politics, to climate change, to murder, mayhem and everything else in between; it is really just too much. TVJMSNBC, Facebook, Twitter and radio; they are all 24 hours of talk about all that is going wrong. So how does one remain optimistic?


Firstly, optimism is a choice. Everything is a choice, really, and the moment you make the decision to go in a certain direction, in this case, being optimistic, then everything falls into place. Sounds so simple, I know. I used to roll my eyes at those people who would say things like “it is within” or “the universe will conspire,” other mumbo jumbo. Yeah, those yoga people.


Well, apparently I am now one of those yoga people spewing this same mumbo jumbo. I made a concerted effort, this year in particular, to really look at the brighter side of everything. I often heard that what you focus on is what you get, so I figured, why not try this route of looking at the other side of the coin and made it my priority to be optimistic..


Firstly, I stopped watching all these news programmes so often because I was somewhat addicted. Yes, I love watching Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell and every now and then CNN's own silver fox, Anderson Cooper, but I no longer consume them first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Instead, I meditate and I journal what I want to manifest. I watch more Super Soul Sundays or I now go on YouTube and consume the positive messages. I sometimes turn to the social media pages of some of Jamaica's young, gifted and influential ones like Yendi or Terri-Karrelle because they give us all life. I realised if I wanted to have a new experience I had to start doing things differently.


In the midst of all the craziness I described earlier, there is a growing sense of optimism in the world today, which can be seen in programmes like Super Soul Sundays on OWN or Humans of New York on Instagram, or Profile on TVJ. With increased nationalistic views in politics across the world on one hand, there is a new wave of young, energetic and diverse breed who are challenging and taking a stand to get involved and take control on the other. We are seeing more women coming together to make changes in the workplace or to even redefine the workplace. There are more women like myself who are venturing into owning businesses at various stages of our professional careers and this is in response to us deciding that we want to be directors of our own lives rather than playing supporting roles. These things make me optimistic. I am optimistic when I see millennials who fear nothing and take on everything because they think audaciously. They show me that I too (although not a millennial) can take on new challenges at any time because failure or success are not things to fear but instead things to be embraced. They give me life!


I am optimistic because the very thing that feeds me the negative messages around the clock also feeds me positive messages. Technology and all that it affords makes me optimistic because if I decide tomorrow to be an author, I can write a book, locate a printer anywhere in the world and distribute it online right from the comfort of my home office.


So while there are many things that could cause me to lock myself away and not deal with the world ever again, there are equally enough things to make known that tomorrow will be better. We have what it takes because never before has it been so easy to reach the world, to access information, to start anew or to choose what we consume.


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