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How Optimism Is One Of The Keys To Success

gary vaynerchuk and optimism

(Gary Vaynerchuck on the DailyVee)

Life is tough, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have lived through some dark times and moments where I didn’t know I would survive. And I am not talking about on a deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am talking about everyday life before and after the military. Up until a few years ago, I was a very pessimistic person. I felt like everyone was conspiring against me. You know what I am talking about. The victim mentality. Where instead of thinking of ways to see the silver lining to problems, I was retreating to the dark and “woe is me” comfort of thinking and dealing with things.

And it was comfortable and I was content. Sure, on the surface I complained about things, but deep down I felt safe in my misery. Safe in the way that I had to put no effort into complaining and being not trying to achieve anything. But I was wrong. I put in some hard work, but I was mostly mentally.  Believe it or not, it’s hard work being miserable. It’s also hard work being positive and being spent everyday achieving your dreams. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have the latter. Wouldn’t you?

I mean, think about it, both of them take a considerable amount of effort to do: complaining and doing. But by doing you are actually getting what you want. Do you want that new job? Don’t go into it think that someone has more experience than you and is going to get it. Do you want to finish that degree? Don’t go into thinking of the amount of classes that you have to take. Think about walking across that stage and using it later in life. But you can’t do any of that if you aren’t starting with the right attitude.

When I realized that I needed to first start with the right attitude, my outlook on life completely changed for the better. I took my own dreams into account and set about conquering them. By being optimistic myself, it automatically impacted my world around me. My family, friends, coworkers, and soldiers who worked for me were directly affected by my new disposition.
I used optimism to finish out two decades of service. I used optimism when I didn’t know when I didn’t know where I was going work next. I think my optimism helped to keep my options open and my mind clear of what I wanted out of life. It paid off in the end and I am way ahead of where I thought I would ever be.

Now in my new profession, I live by pushing optimism out in the forefront. I wake up with gratitude for a new day and for the rest of the 86,400 seconds I work hard to keeping it positive. Like, Gary Vaynerchuk says above, “If you lack optimism, it’s game over.”

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Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?

It is said that an average human being can have between 25,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day.  Imagine how many of those are negative thoughts.  How many times you are subconsciously telling yourself that you can’t accomplish this.  You can’t do that.  It will never work.

I had a difficult background, filled with no concrete role model and a lot of figuring out things on my own.  I am honestly not unlike many other kids who had to fend for themselves during their adolescents. Sure, I had my father and step-mother, but there was not a lot of child rearing and teaching lessons. 

I had to fend for myself.  I didn’t hear a lot of “great job” and other accolades.  It was as if I was expected to achieve greatness and success with no blueprint or example to go off of.  Saying it was tough would be an understatement.

My attitude and outlook became very pessimistic and I was depressed.   This went on for the first ten years of my military career. But when I finally got fed up with living a mediocre existence, I changed.  It honestly took seeing other people happy and enjoying their life.  What’s the difference between me and them?

They didn’t wallow in self-pity.  They worked hard and enjoyed the process, keeping their goals in the front of their mind.  The progressed past me in rank and responbility.  All because they had the right attitude.  That of perseverance.  

See, I had a bright future with a good career.  I just let the dark clouds and obstacles get in the way. When I mapped out my plan it made it easier to seek out people who could aid me in my journey.  My biggest problem is I compared my life with theirs.  My happiness to theirs.  Bad idea.  Success is ultimately an individual thing.  I need to do the physical and mental work to achieve it.  Only I would get the emotional high of achievement when it was done.  

The last ten years of my career flew by when I changed.  But I remember it like it was yesterday because I was happy.  I got out of a marriage that I wasn’t fully invested in and have a wonderful family now.  And when the military wasn’t fun anymore, I retired.  Best decision ever because I found my first love again:  writing.  

Surround yourself with the right people.  People who have no negative thoughts prevalent in their mind.  You ever walked into a room and there was someone else there, but they weren’t in a good mood?  You can feel the tension and bad aura.  You just want to leave the room so it doesn’t rub on you.  

Map out what needs to be done.  Share it with those closest to you, but you do the work.  You climb the damn obstacles.  And be optimistic in the pursuit of your greatness.  I am rooting for you.  

-alv