Tuesday, October 19, 2010

#LetsBlogOff - Misery Loves Company

It's Tuesday. #LetsBlogOff is back again!

Today's topic: Is there a reason to be optimistic?

Definition of OPTIMISM

: a doctrine that this world is the best possible world
: an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome

Merriam-Webster does a pretty good job defining optimism, and #2 is how I try to look at my daily tasks. Keyword there... try.

Every day is filled with a new obstacle, and new decision that must be made. When you start the process of making a decision and the immediate negative thoughts that overwhelm you are going to do just that- overwhelm you. Anything and everything is possible, the means of achieving may not be right at your fingertips but the solution is out there and that's what keeps me on track.

So the news is bad. CNN and FOX News are the new 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th'. The only reason that we think the world is crumbling and things are bad is because we(Americans) love bottle-necking at the car accident on the highway. There's something about bad news that drives people, and they want to see others misfortune because for that moment their unfulfilled world is better than someone else's. (Boy, I didn't think about that before I typed it and it just kind of came out. That might be one of the smartest things I've ever typed in to this blog.)

Is that judgemental of me? Nah, I don't think so. I've been unhappy, and I've seen the bad in everything. Maybe we should change the title of our #letsblogoff from "Is there a reason to be optimistic?" to "What's the use in being miserable?" 

We all know some miserable people, and the older that I get(keep reading) the less and less that I choose to spend time with them. The ever-shrinking group of people I surround myself with are only glass-half-fullers. The negative nancies are missing out.

This is Cupboards blog after all- let's look at it from the Cupboards perspective. The home building and home remodeling business is down(way down). A few years ago, we were all living like rock stars in a "more is better" world where keeping up with the Joneses was only half of the project. We had to figure out a way to make the Joneses jealous. Cupboards is still around though, and lots of our competition(and sadly, our customers) aren't. Each time I talk with my banking friends or suppliers they tell of more and more businesses that just couldn't make it. There are days I wish that I was too busy to write in the blog, and my optimistic nature hopes that one day(sooner than later) I can email and tweet my #letsblogoff friends and say, "Ya know, I'd love to be able to contribute today but I am SWAMPED!" Even then, though- I know I'd figure out a way to post along with my people(even if I had to stay up late to type something out).

Today(October 19) is a unique day in my world- I officially leave my twenties behind and turn the big 3-0. There were birthdays gone by that made me worry about this one and while it's created some reflection(both good and bad), I decided a few weeks ago that reflection is for mirrors and instead of being upset at myself for maybe not accomplishing all that I wanted to by the time I turned 30, that I was going to celebrate my victories and be truly excited about the opportunities that are headed my way. While I'm not generally a birthday party kind of guy, tonight I used my birthday as an excuse to have a second helping of Derby Pie. 

Two scoops of ice cream, too.

So that's that- what do you think? See what my cohorts thing by clicking on the tag below. Leave a comment and tell them how great they are.



  1. Happy birthday and bravo Nick, great post. And yes, I think you nailed why people watch TV news.

  2. Happy Birthday, Nick, too good. I'm in on the double scoops, and today, I'm serving! enjoy your day!! life keeps getting better - I mean other than the necessary dips. we have more tools. cindy @urbanverse

  3. Happy birthday, you young whippersnapper! :-)

    I have a sickeningly positive friend who tells me all the time "You are the average of your five closest friends." And to keep his life on a positive track, he assesses his friendships every year. It seems each year, he dumps one friend and makes one new, young one. (no, not that kind of friend! This isn't Mad Men ;-) ) He says the secret to staying young is to seek out young people.

    But he is only 41, so there's still hope that he will turn to the dark side :-) Ironically enough, he is one of my young, positive friends...

  4. Happy Birthday! They say pessimism doesn't cost us much if we are wrong...but it can be paralyzing which is why it's best to focus on the positive.

  5. Cindy - Thanks for the good wishes- Looking forward to more tools!

    Rufus - Actually I like your friends take on positivity and tend to agree. Goes with the age argument, too... you're only as old as you think you are.

    Ann - Thanks for the birthday wish and you're spot on about looking on the bright side.

  6. Happy Birthday Nick! The 30's are GREAT!

  7. Happy birthday! This cheerful blog was a nice way to start the day.

  8. How fitting the topic = optimism on a day where there is great reason for optimism -- new decade en your life! Happy Birthday again Nick! Your 30s are gonna rock!

  9. Nick, I've gotta question Merriam-Webster on their definition. I'd submit rather that optimism is the belief that things can and will get better. If this is the best possible world, then we have nowhere to go but down, right?

  10. Becky - Thanks, dear!

    Kim - Glad it brightened your day- certainly a grand measure of blog success!

    jb - Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Steve - I'm with you, and actually overlooked the first definition and chose just to pay attention to the second. It's a slippery slope to begin with and I look at optimism as really just putting your best foot forward and expecting the best outcome realizing that it may/will not be easy. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Well gosh darn, Happy Bday fellow Libra. (tomorrow's mine). Great Post too BTW!!!! I too disassociate myself from miserable people - they're such a downer.

  12. Can I just say, I love the second image - the "FU" attitude of the people who think their glass is half empty. Genius.

    So much better to surround ourselves with positive people. It's awful hard to stay happy when everyone else is a grump.

    And oh yes, Happy Birthday!

  13. Great post, Nick, and Happy Birthday!

    (We Libras are very "balanced", aren't we?! :-)

    I think you really hit the nail on the head in that so much of the negativity floating around these days is due to opinion and perception and many peoples' desire to just indulge themselves in negative thought.But realizing that is the first step in establishing an optimistic approach to things.

    Thanks for the posting! Very nicely done.


  14. Really good post and I loved the comments too, especially the one from Cham. I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I would have been much more wordy and far less clear.

    Happy Birthday My friend!

  15. Nick, LOVE your use of images, LOVE your assessment of the news and LOVE that you've officially entered the 30's. Happy, Happy Birthday. You already sound wise beyond your years. You have all kinds of things to look forward to, I'm sure of it. (People told me the same thing, but I didn't believe them until I hit 40. That's when life really started to kick into gear for me.) Great post.

  16. Happy birthday (earlier this week)! Great post.

  17. Great post! You're right - optimism IS the better choice. Why focus on the negative if you don't have to?

    And, happy birthday!!! I turned 29 ten days before that, but I didn't have a second helping of cake. On that note, I think I'll go remedy that.

  18. I am still 29, but with lots of experience! 30 was hard for me, as I had a list of things that I didn't feel I'd accomplished. But the truth is, 30 is when you get to say good-bye to being hard on yourself and you can start being hard on your loved ones! No, wait. I meant to say, you can start to see things in more perspective.
    In any case, it doesn't matter how old you are, what matters is that you truly are one of the coolest, most reflective gentlemen around.


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