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Optimism: A Manifesto


A Manifesto by Trevor McKendrick (

  1. Focus your time & attention on the things you can influence.

  2. Do something today instead of daydreaming about tomorrow.

  3. See problems as opportunities to learn, grow, and give meaning to our lives.

  4. Keep promises to yourself, no matter how small. Tell yourself you’ll go on a walk, and then do it. Promise to call a friend, and then do it. Commit to your boss you’ll send that email, and then do it.

  5. Have confidence you’ll be able to figure out how to fix that thing that just broke.

  6. Choose carefully the stories you tell yourself about who you are and what you’re capable of.

  7. Move fast. Most decisions can be reversed later.

  8. Be you. Not because you’re entitled to be heard but because there is some unique thing you have to offer, if you can find it.

  9. Believe we can think, and build, and create ourselves out of any problem.

  10. Internalize that the pie is not fixed, that life is not zero sum.

  11. Focus on why something could work instead of why it won’t.

  12. See yourself as part of the solution, not a victim of the problem.

  13. Pay for the drive thru order of the car behind you.

  14. Recognize problems as temporary and specific, not permanent and expansive.

  15. Believe problems are solvable. Maybe not right away, probably not easily, but that it can be done.

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