Earlier today I was sharing my feelings about optimism and it being one lens to look through to view the world. Each of us make a choice about “reality”. We process a moment in time through our experiences and our current state of mind cataloging it for future interactions. Shared stories from others help us to further entrench ourselves in our beliefs and values. Even in listening to a story, we are interpreting it based on our own assumptions about reality and what the words mean. We assign context based on our own beliefs, often assigning values of someone’s character over words and behaviors rather than viewing it through the subjective context that individual is experiencing.
The lens that we view the world through can be of optimism or pessimism; neither of which are inherently bad or good. Just as with a dev or ops role where it doesn’t matter what role we are in as long as we understand the impact on business workflow; it doesn’t matter what lens we are using as long as we understand its impact on our overall processing. The lens in place for a particular moment impacts our perceptions and affects the decisions that we make. When I’m viewing the world through the optmist lens, I’m driven by enthusiasm and energy seeing the opportunities and possibilities around me. When I’m viewing the world through the pessimist lens, I’m preparing myself for negative outcomes conserving energy until needed.
In 2008, I wrote the following for myself. I’m sharing it because I think it’s important that we start talking about and actively choosing the way we choose to see the world. Sharing our personal context helps others to understand our behaviors perhaps even seeing themselves in a different light.
“Focus on the best. The brilliance. The love. The hope. The best of what your life is. When someone asks you how your day was, or what you’ve been up to.. reply with the very best of what is. Don’t think about the frustrating bits.”
That’s the advice I’ve been giving myself. On these last few days of taking time off of work.. and really spending time on self, I’ve thought about where I want to be and what I want to do.
So there is this possibility of getting laid off. The economy sucks. There is so much gloom, doom, sadness.. I could wallow in the depths of it. I could hurt with the internal drama of a variety of situations.
Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to agree with you. It doesn’t matter. Believe in yourself, and believe in others. Believe the best, cherish your friends and loved ones, and do whatever it is that you feel driven to do.
I feel happy. Things are good. I enjoy my job. I have a variety of friends and interests and life is rich.
These words still guide me. With time and experience I’ve realized that it’s important to share the experiences and my authentic feelings with people. Letting toxicity of experiences build up without an outlet impacted me in a way that was unhealthy impacting my health in a myriad of ways. I still choose the optimist lens; believing in me and believing in others. I am happy. Things are good. I enjoy my job. I have a variety of friends and interests and life is rich.