“I’m king of the world!” When Leonardo DiCaprio yelled this affirmation from the top of the ill-fated Titanic, it epitomized the ultimate in optimism. He expressed belief, expectancy, and confidence in his life. He thought it. He felt it.
Young Cassius Clay leaped to the top rope of the ring apron and proclaimed, “I am the greatest!” This moment in sports history occurred after he defeated world heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston for the title. Decades later, we still revere the legacy of older Muhammad Ali for his supreme confidence, belief, and expectancy. Optimism is part of his extraordinary legacy.
We admired the optimism of the late Steve Jobs as he battled the industry that he helped launch. Over and over we saw him walk outside the lines of normal thinking to create products that shaped how we interact in today’s world. You might be reading this on one of his breakthrough devices. He was an eternal optimist.
Who doesn’t love Walt Disney? But over the years Walt had many failures.
- After making a bad deal with his distribution company, he was forced to dissolve his first animation company. Soon after, he couldn’t pay his rent and was surviving by eating dog food. Hard to believe, huh?
- MGM studios told Walt that Mickey Mouse would never work. They thought a giant mouse would terrify women.
- After reworking the animated Pinocchio, Walt lost a million dollars in its first release.
These setbacks did not derail Walt’s creative genius. Failure after failure only made him smarter and wiser. His relentless optimism always picked him up from defeat. Today his name brings a smile to your face and a little kid emerges regardless of your age.
Optimism is the cornerstone of the S.C.O.R.E.® Success System. It is literally and figuratively at the heart and core of the word S.C.O.R.E.® and the System itself.
Optimism is where a champion finds strength, especially during tough times. It can withstand the uncertainty of shifting conditions and circumstances. It can fuel a champion’s drive to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. It can level the playing field for the titans of industry and the mom-and-pop start-up. It leaves an open crack in the door of opportunity for the true believer.
Before I relate my optimistic view about the power of optimism, I must warn you:
Protect your optimism at all costs.
Care for it every day of your life.
Be aware of your O level.
Optimism can be undermined with lightning speed. If not prepared, your optimism level can change from a positive to a negative vis-à-vis a dirty look, e-mail, text or phone call. It can curl up and shrink like bacon on a stove—and in less time. Just like that, you can become deflated and de-energized. Doubt will drape you. A fog of chaos will roll in. Arenas of your life will overlap. Negative thoughts will surface, each gaining strength and speed in geometric proportion. Thinking about problems becomes the problem and the inspiring, motivating word “challenge” never enters your mind. Putting out fires becomes commonplace. An outgoing person will become silent. A smile will turn upside down. A bold performance will grow meek. A magnetic personality will have no pull. Your imagination will turn against you. Positive belief and expectancy will abandon ship.
When your O level crumbles, it can have an adverse effect on all other components of S.C.O.R.E.® and this change can occur with blinding speed. This is not the direction of the champion. Beware of the danger signs. True champions never waver in their inner optimism. Boosting optimism inflates your Self-discipline, Concentration, Relaxation, and definitely Enjoyment like air going into the tires of an Indy car on race day. The inner feelings of superiority, dominance, and knowing flowing from optimism will literally change your physical look on the outside. A high level of optimism pushes the limits of possibility and walks through the door of opportunity.
Your optimism level during any performance reflects your high or low level of confidence, trust, faith, hope, and positive self-esteem. You will possess the feeling of I can, I will, I am and I know. Commit this definition to memory:
Optimism, or O, is the belief, expectancy and knowing that one can execute the task(s) to reach well-defined goals that lead to a vision.
Do you know the deadly effects of negativity—the absence of optimism? Negative people speak with cynicism, give up easily, and think and act like victims. They tend to judge. Sarcasm is their verbal style. “If I didn’t have any bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all,” they announce. They suck the life force out of everyone they’re around. This is not optimism. This is not the mind-set of a champion.
Success is getting up one more time from defeat.
This is the optimist in action!
The optimism of a champion and a true champion is obvious. You can feel his/her positive energy. You know he believes in himself. He commands your attention. His head is up and his posture is erect. He speaks in positives. Champions have a supreme belief and expectancy that they will succeed. In a crisis, they have the ability to be silent while exuding confidence with no spoken words.
However, true champions go beyond belief. They go beyond expectancy. They enter the realm of knowing. They know what they do today will lead them on the pathway to goal attainment and ultimately their vision. They are confident. And they look confident because they know they are the best-prepared performer. The true champion wins first in his/her mind, then walks into the arena . . . every life arena. He/she is prepared to open the performance on his terms. He is prepared to make adjustments regardless of the conditions or circumstances. He trusts his intuition. He expects results. And he is prepared to close the performance with authority. Everyone else enters the arena, and then tries to figure out what to do, where to go, and how to do it.
Optimism is the fulcrum of your S.C.O.R.E.® Level.
It’s at the heart and soul of the true champion.
My father James E. Fannin was an optimist. This article is for you Dad. Thanks for giving me the belief, expectancy and knowing that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to do.
Be in the Zone!™