Many people mistakenly think of me as an optimist, just not the people who really know me.
I write a great deal about service, taking unusually good care of people, and finding opportunity in challenging situations, so it’s natural for readers to presume that I am a positive, optimistic person. The underlying truth is that I write about the person I want to be, as a way to influence the person I am.
When I sit down to write I am almost always writing messages to myself. Sharing these posts is an act of defiance in the face of default behaviors to which I refuse to yield.
My vices aren’t particularly special. You might even share a few of them. I worry a lot. I want to be perpetually comfortable. I’m prone to fixating on the worst possible outcomes. I’m afraid to press the publish button every single week. My default response to almost any situation is to be selfish. I want to write things that will make you like me when I know I should write things that will agitate you. I act like a victim.
Basically, I’m a human person.
The good news is that I’m not alone, and neither are you.
The only way I know to defeat cynicism and selfishness is to constantly rehearse something better, to choose to operate like the person I wish I was by default.
I practice gratitude every day. A few times a week I share perspectives to help others. I surround myself with smart people who are doing their very best work. I choose to serve.
The people on the periphery may see these things and think I am just a positive person, but the people I live and work with know that I have no fewer rough edges than anyone else.
And that’s probably a very good thing because it’s what we do in spite of the rough edges that makes us interesting.