July 2, 2020

What’s Your Attitude Towards Optimism?

I recently sent an email to a special client, Paul Martyn, Director of Advanced Sourcing at Coupa Software, curious to know how he is able to maintain his optimism and confidence during these challenging times.

His answer inspired me: “I think optimism is, like many things, a discipline. In our diverse world we have a choice as to what we see – my optimism colors my perception and helps me recognize good things. Every day when I finish my work day, I must do two things before I relax/enjoy a drink – something for our home (chore) and something nice for someone (sending a kind word, check-in, dropping off food, etc.)”

Paul included this quote from Hermann Hesse, his favorite author and painter:

“When someone is seeking …It happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose.” (from Siddhartha)

I’ve always prided myself on looking at life with rose-colored glasses.  As I reflected on my attitude over the last several months, I must confess that at times, my glasses became shaded. I was so goal-focused that I missed out on opportunities to connect with friends or celebrate the small gifts like walking on nature paths.

Optimism is a choice that is now helping me to readjust my vision.  It’s about not just seeing things the way they are, but how great they can be! We don’t have to have a title to become a leader of optimism. We just have to adopt Paul’s discipline to make that choice daily.


Excited to have you listen to my latest Podcast about how to alter our playbooks when the game has changed.

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