How to be optimistic

11 Aug, 2019 - 00:08 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Milton Kamwendo
Hunt for Greatness

Believe in hope and you will never be defeated. There is hope and there is room for improvement. A delay is never a defeat. Failure is never final. Problems are not a pronouncement of Armageddon. Guard your focus. What you focus on determines the direction in which you move. When you lose your focus, you lose your motivation. Focus on where you are going to, not just what you are going through.

Keep learning and leaning forward. Tough times are never the times to stop trying and give up. Use the challenges you face to bounce higher, and think more strategically. Do not run away at the first sight of any challenge. No crisis is worth wasting. Every crisis you face is a jump-start to greatness. No problem is worth abusing. Allow whatever challenge you face to inspire you to do greater things. Challenge your challenges. Use the challenges that you face to grow in new ways, develop new capacity and go where you have never been. Never park at the scene of a problem. Keep thinking, keep dreaming and keep doing. Do not stop and do not expire. Innovation is activated by challenges faced creatively. Imagination is stimulated when you focus on solutions to problems.

What does it take to kill your dream? What does it take to stop you? What does it take to kill your spirit?

It is too early to give up and stop trying. Stop thinking about your death and be obsessed with designing your life. Keep a clear mind despite the dark clouds of doom, gloom and negativity. Move while others are sleeping. Work while others are resting. Plan deep into the future when others have lost vision and are only obsessed with survival. It is when things get worse that you must not quit.

Darkness is evidence that there is light. Depth is evidence that there is height. Above the clouds of despair, the sun is always shining. Underneath the layers of rubble, there are rich belts of possibilities. Under the mountain of pressure lies the diamonds. Problems are the evidence that there is inexhaustible opportunity if you are willing to innovate. The season of opportunity is ever present. Where you look, what you see, what you focus on and what you do determines your outcomes.

Mindset sets you apart

Be opportunity minded, and you will see opportunity everywhere. Think possibilities and you will be empowered to do what you have never done. For the one who believes, all things are possible. The limitations you face are a matter of a paradigm. When you change your mental model you change your vision. There is a way, even if you may not be seeing one. You are able and you are capable. The solutions you know are not the whole solution set. What you have seen to date is not all that there is. There is so much that can be done. You have barely tapped your full potential. Opportunity is everywhere, where creativity and imagination exist. Stop being obsessed with the past and focus on the future. Pessimism, if allowed to fester, will just block your thinking and narrow your creativity. Think differently, reframe your situation, change how you process information and take a fresh look at the challenges that you face. Nothing is impossible, until you make that premature conclusion.

What are you learning?

Life is driven by the 10-90 rule. 10 percent is what happens and 90 percent represents what you think about what happens. It is not what happens that matters, but what you learn as you pass through the neighbourhood. Optimism or pessimism are learnt. Always insulate yourself against learned helplessness. Catch yourself when you start thinking you cannot do anything, except complain.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and regretting that you are too old, too young, or whatever excuse you dare lean on. Invalidate every excuse that you have.

In 1972, Dr Dorothy Law Nolte, wrote a moving poem that is entitled: “Children Learn What They Live.” Choose your environment and your thoughts. Here is Nolte’s poem:

 “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

  If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

  If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

  If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

  If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

  If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

  If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

  If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

  If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

  If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

  If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

  If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

  If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

  If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

  If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

  If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

  If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

  If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in   those about them.

  If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

What applies to children, applies to everyone. Choose your mental environment. Shift and influence your atmosphere. There are problems everywhere on earth, you just have to learn how to be optimistic, instead of pessimistic. Be a possibility thinker, not an impossibility thinker. Instead of thinking how things cannot be done, have the mindset to explore what can be done. There is more that can be done than what you have know. Do not park on yesterday’s solutions. Raise your faith and elevate your imagination.

You can choose your thoughts

You cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest on your head. So it is with thoughts.

You may not be able to stop negative thoughts from flying through your head, but you are able to stop them from building a nest on your head. Choose your thoughts carefully for they become your life. Whatever you dwell on is what you become.

When you sow a thought, it become an attitude. When you sow an attitude it become your life. To start the process of change, choose positive thinking. It is a mental discipline that launches your greatness. Choose what your mind dwells on. Quit recreational complaining. Your thoughts and words are shaping your life.

Boundaries of self-imposed limitations

There are no limitation to what you can become and who you can be. All boundaries are self-imposed limitations. You can become whatever you dream to be. So dream big and do not let negativity cloud your vision and blur your dream.

I am inspired by the popular story of two frogs that fell into a can of milk. Whatever you in right now determine that you will swim through and not drown. Here is the little poem:


There is a story of two

“Two frogs fell into a can of cream,

Or so it has been told.

The sides of the can were shiny and steep,

The cream was deep and cold.

“Oh, what’s the use,” said number one,

“It’s plain no help’s around.”

“Good-bye, my friend, goodbye, sad world”

and weeping still he drowned.

But number two, of sterner stuff,

Dog-paddled in surprise.

The while he licked his creamy lips

And blinked his creamy eyes.

“I’ll swim at least awhile,” he thought,

or so it has been said.

It really wouldn’t help the world

If one more frog were dead.

An hour or more he kicked and swam,

Not once he stopped to mutter.

Then hopped out from the island he had made

Of fresh churned butter.”


Choose to be like Frog Number Two. Keep paddling and swimming. As you take action you are stirring something. Change may not come in a minute but it will come. Your break through may not come tomorrow but it shall come. Do not stop moving and dreaming. You are destined for greatness.

Instead of learned helplessness, rather choose learned optimism. Be an incurable optimist. Always believe that the dawn will come. When you fail stand up and believe in the future and keep running. You do not drown by falling in water. You drown when you give up and stop trying to swim to the other end. So long as there is strength in you keep standing. So long as there is breath in you keep thinking. So long as you are alive, express life and not death.

Committed to your greatness.


Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and growth mentor. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is:


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