Staying Optimistic During Tough Times

In the last couple weeks I spoke to high school students and business people alike. I am always amazed at how the audience receives the message of hope I deliver in those speeches.

They always ask questions about some of the personal stories I reveal in my book. They find it hard to believe that I was able to hold a level of optimism given some of the trying conditions of my youth (abject poverty, extreme instability…). I always share with those who attend that feeling good and holding a place for hope and optimism is an inside job.

No other person or event should control how they respond on the inside to outside circumstances. No matter how hard life’s punches are, we can decide to remain positive through the pain.

That includes tough economic times, losing a game or any other challenge. Each of us can learn to hold dominion over our internal feeling state. Once we learn how to do that, life becomes much less stressful and much more beautiful.


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3 Responses to “Staying Optimistic During Tough Times”

  1. Feng Shui Candace Says:

    Once you decide to make a shift in mindset from negative to positive the world opens up to you. It is your decision how you want to lead your life, don’t let outside negative influences effect it.

  2. Reggie Greene/The Logistician Says:

    For roughly the last four weeks, I have been engaged in activities in some poverty stricken areas of North and South Carolina. Even though I grew up in North Carolina and attended grade school here, for the past 30 years, I lived in Los Angeles, where positive energy is found in abundance, whether justified or not. After seeing so many dejected and demoralized individuals over the past four weeks, I found myself thinking about the different situations in which people find themselves. I mentioned by concerns to someone at a meeting earlier this week, and she expressed her concern about the lack of internal motivation or inspiration existant in these folks to better themselves and their condition. I responded that one must be “sufficiently motivated” to do anything in life, and if you do not see or envision some potential rewards associated with conduct, you will not generally pursue it. It’s the nature of the human beast.

    Unfortunately, while I strongly believe that a good attitude and positive thinking are essential to success, I am now beginning to realize that there are circumstances in which many live which make such a leap very difficult indeed. There needs to be someone at the leadership or visibility positions in society to create a perception of the possible. That’s what folks like you and me have to do in society.

    • kevintouhey Says:

      When circumstances are most dire I always bring to mind the story of Victor Frankel. He was held in a Nazi concentration camp for many years. He shares that when dinner came it was usually a fish head floating in cold, dirty water. In time he was able to convince himself through the vehicle of positive thinking that a gourmet meal was being served. He was the type of Leader you talk about because before long he had the entire blockade thinking the same way. I know in my youth when I suffered the worst beating or was just plan starving from days of not eating I would use the power of my imagination to visualize a better life. Like the one I am living now and the one Victor Frankel lived after he survived Nazi cruelty. Not easy but doable.

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