First 30 Days Blog

20 sep

The Optimists’ Manifesto

happier_confidenceI’ve had the privilege of interviewing thousands of people for my book, The First 30 Days, who are navigating change in their lives. For some it’s a career change or a shift in their relationship, for others it’s a health diagnosis or a change in their finances. And for others, it’s an inspired course of action they are passionately pursuing that can change the world. So, I’ve been able to be the detective, always on the lookout for why some people are good at change and others take “the elevator straight into the basement”! Why do some of us initiate a change and keep going while some of us never get started? I detail 9 principles in my book, The First 30 Days. Please pick up a copy if you haven’t already done so, for yourself or someone you know going through a change.

I am often asked what is the one thing that really makes the difference? While I always think words are limited, if I had to pick one, it would be Optimism. Optimism in the context of creating and navigating change is about a different set of beliefs. It is about once and for all choosing empowering beliefs about ourselves, who we are at our core, how we see our potential rather than what limits us or what our mind has led us to believe for too long. Beliefs that life is on our side, always, no matter what, and that life is conspiring for us, in the direction of our growth. Finally, it is about believing that regardless of whether we are pursuing a change that is ultimately termed “successful” by our society, that something good will come.

Optimism also comes from believing in something bigger, our spiritual essence, a reminder that we have an infinite amount of Grace supporting us if only we fully trust it to be there for us and stop trying to take control. Optimists can navigate the darkness, the uncertainty and find rest and safety in fixing their focus on God, The Divine, Being, Grace, whatever we want to call it. That part never disconnects from us. We are the ones who disconnect. People who are true change agents have always believed in something greater than themselves. They know they are not alone as they journey through life.

When everything around you is changing, look for that part of you that never changes, that is calm, detached, that witnesses your life, that guides you at all times. Busyness is always the one excuse that gets in the way of your connection, and yet, this connection is always the answer you crave. As you step up to become a true architect of change, answers do not come from a full and overwhelmed mind, they come from a peaceful and calm state of being.

Do whatever you can, daily to cultivate this. A yoga class on the weekends doesn’t quite count here. I am talking about daily quiet time, reconnection, prayer, setting intentions, journaling, contemplation, doing nothing, reading, purifying the mind and body. This should be first on the list, not what you get to if and when you have time. Your courage, commitment and passion to create change will have a very different foundation if calmness, presence and optimism is what feeds it every day.

Let me know some of the ways you stay connected, what you do to remain optimistic no matter what, what tools you find that can help others stay on a path of wisdom and higher truth.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on September 20th, 2009 in Ariane, Global/Social Change, New Directions | 1 comments Read related posts in

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  • I agree with everything you have stated regarding optimism. I believe it is important and should be at the top of our herats and minds in order to live a fulfilling and succesful life. I always connect with nature, the beauty of its colors, the radiance and warmth of the sun, the joy of silence; that keeps me grounded. Another thing I do is to keep connected to my intention for happiness on a daily basis.

    — Added by joyfulme on October 11th, 2009

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