Being optimistic during challenging times

Hi everybody. Greg here from One Breath Global and I’m here to talk to you today about being optimistic during challenging times. 

There are ways that we can generate optimism from deep within ourselves. 

 

It is an uphill climb and it’s not easy for everyone straight away. So if you’re one of those people, I’m going to give you a series of ideas and tips that will hopefully support you in this search for optimism. And let’s face it, we can choose to be pessimistic on the one hand or we can choose to be optimistic on the other hand. Studies show us that those people who are optimistic have stronger immune systems, they are far healthier and more vibrant. And let’s face it, they’re more fun to be around because they’re positive as well. In fact, some of you might say they’re infectious. 

So the first idea I’d like to give you while you’re in isolation and inside is to consider creative ideas like writing poetry. 

 

I mean, how long is it since you wrote a poem? Maybe it was forced upon you at school? Maybe now you want to write a poem to a loved one, somebody close to you? Or write a poem about this particular situation. If you’re bold enough, share the poem outwardly. Poetry is something that comes from deep within. It’s something that flowers within us. 

The second thing I want to encourage you to do is to support good news initiatives. 

 

Our threads at the moment are going absolutely wild. On WhatsApp alone this morning I had hundreds and hundreds of threads, most of which I lovingly flick through. Yet inside of them, there’s gems of positive news, share the positive news. That’s the sign of a real optimist being positive and letting that positivity ripple out. 

The third thing, it’s not for everyone, be in service. 

 

Think about the elderly and the vulnerable. This is being talked about everywhere. Maybe join a community group, reach out and if you’re one of those people that enjoys good health and vibrancy, strengthen your immune system with optimism, but also strengthen your immune system by helping others. It’s a form of active quality, good service that will repay you in many ways. 

The fourth one – particular favourite of mine – write and tell jokes. 

 

Now, this isn’t something that comes easily or naturally to people and yet like most things in life, the more you practice it, the better you get. Now, look, Bitcoin was the new currency and everyone was going crazy about it buying this electronic currency, but let me tell you, the markets have changed forever. The new currency where the wealth is at. That’s right. Toilet roll. I’m keeping mine well close to me under lock and key made sure that you do the same. So enjoy humour, bring humour into your life, bring humour into the life of the people around you. It’s a form of demonstrating how optimistic you are.

The next thing is positive visualisation. 

 

That’s right. It might look like a bit of a doomsday prophecy. It might begin to look like the ends of the world, but only for those that are seeing it that way. If you’re pessimistic, that’s how it’s likely to be. Let’s be positive and do positive visualisation. Think about how you’re going to be out the other side of this. Think about how positive your work environment’s going to be. Think about how positive you can be and your family can be, knowing that you took the time to change while sat inside the home. So positive visualisation, seeing things as you want them to be.

The next one is see the best in others.

 

So if for example, I’m looking at my beloved, I will be seeing her magical face. I’ll be seeing her open heart and I’ll just be communicating these things with her, telling her how beautiful her eyes are and how much I enjoy looking into them. Just coming up behind her, massaging her shoulders and just telling her how amazing she is, how beautiful she is. So find the moments to compliment those people that are around you. Tell them how much you love them, tell you how much they mean to you and what are we doing? Again, we’re being optimistic we’re opening our hearts. 

The next one is have meaningful conversations with people. 

 

Now people might be a long way from you, could be on the other side of the planet, the other side of the country or maybe only in the next street, but you’re in isolation. You can’t meet up with them. So what do you do? Have a specific dinner time, let’s say six o’clock, open an application like Zoom or WhatsApp video or Skype and have dinner with them. Get your dinner prepared at the same time. Share some fun stories from the day, share creative ways that you’ve been exploring or enjoying the environment. So don’t stop dining out with people, just create it in new ways. And again, being optimistic, you might find that you create new ways to have fun whilst also saving a little bit of money and saving a little bit of time as well. So have meaningful conversations. 

And for some of you as well, I know these times will be challenging. You know, some of the pessimists are predicting that out of the other side of this, the number of divorces will go up, some people are predicting that the number of births will go up. And probably both of those are true! Yet take the time to get into difficult subjects and by exploring conversations that you’ve been putting off by bringing the light of awareness to them. You can be the optimist because let’s face it, you’re going to be in close proximity with people for a considerable period of time. Don’t hide your fears, your doubts and concerns because they’ll only eat away at you. It’s time to bring them up. Get them out. So have positive, meaningful conversations.

Be optimistic. Be the change that you want to see in your environment during this period.

My next tip is to simply be creative. 

 

Now kids are normally great at this. You see them playing their games, role-play and acting and situations and things out. Picking up meaningless things, maybe like a broom and flying around the kitchen. Let’s all be creative. Let’s think about the ways that we can bring creativity into the foreground. Creativity is seen as a divine feminine quality, so I’m going to call on most of the women out there and also the feminine side of us males to get involved in a creative revolution. That starts from what appears in the first instance is a very uncreative situation. Yet how deeply can you plant the seed of creativity and how creative can you be? Play board games, cook together, create things in the kitchen, create meaningful moments together, take photographs, make each other laugh. Be the creative genius that you can choose to be right now, during this, this extremely different time. 

The next one is be solutions-focused.

 

So think about it, we’re going to arrive at the other side of this and there’s those who will then have been thinking about the solutions, where we’re heading, where we’re going, the way things are going to be different and yet what are the opportunities? So think about how it is that you’re going to solve this for yourself. Maybe how your summer holiday will be equally as exciting, yet a little bit different this year and in being solutions-focused, maybe you’ll join a group, get other people together. Just be the change that starts these solutions-based conversations. And it might be that you need to find one, two, three, four, five or more people in order to just start putting creative logs on the fire and to start to generate solutions between yourselves. 

Now remember, if you surround yourself with a lot of pessimists, what’s likely to happen? Exactly. Surround yourself with optimists. You’re likely to have a far more enjoyable and creative conversation. Yeah, some of the ideas will be delusional, but they’ll probably be funny as well. You can simply let go of them. Why don’t you find the gems, the wisdom, the opportunities that are going to support you and serve you once with through the other side of this? 

The next thing, I keep saying it, but I want to reinforce it. This is point number 10, both hands up high fives, be totally optimistic.

Be the most optimistic person that you can be in the world spread, optimistic. Let’s make optimism the virus that it needs to be to spread out, and I’m not talking about a delusional optimism. I’m talking about carrying a level of optimism that allows you to see through the chaos. See through the disharmony, see through the fear and be the one that’s smiling. The one that’s cracking a joke, the one that’s laughing for the right reasons. Yes, this is a serious situation. Yet even inside the seriousness, the people that will be truly remembered are the heroes, the NHS, the staff, the other workers throughout the world that are lovingly supporting. Yet along with them, the optimists will be remembered because they gave us all the lift and they gave us something to cheer about. 

Point 11, stay present in the here and now.

 

Okay. It’s easy to say. If you tune into your mind, the mind as a tool is geared towards past and future. The mind’s job is not to be present, so a little bit of wisdom for you. If its job is past and future, it’s actually doing a really good job because we’re constantly outside of the present moment. So in order to be present, we need to learn to silence, to turn the mind off and therefore to enter the present. So I want you to use this opportunity to begin to look for the on off switch. In the mind to just find a moment where you can pause, find the off switch, let go of the past, let go of the future and get into the present moment. 

Number 12 is upskill yourself. 

 

Learn a new skill. Let’s you know, take something simple. Some of you might have wanted to learn how to sing. You might want to get on the X Factor of the new season after all, it needs a new lease of life breathing into it. But it might be, you want to learn to tell jokes. I don’t know what it is. You might want to learn to public speak. There’s so many different things. Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t type quickly at the moment and you want to learn to improve your typing skills. Pick a new skill, upskill yourself. Well, why would you want to upskill yourself? The people who are the most employable, the people the marketplace really wants are the people with the highest skill levels. So think about skills and skills like presentation skills and joke telling and singing. This is all about presenting yourself. So even if you’re in a work-based environment, these things map over really well. Yet they map over in a way that allows optimism again to shine through you.

So think about picking up, learning a new skill, upskilling yourself, making yourself more employable, or if you’re self-employed, even more attractive as a proposition out of the other side of this. 

Read helpful quotes. 

 

You know, we can read unhelpful quotes. But let’s read helpful quotes. Gandhi’s quote, I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, “Be the change that you want to see in the world”. Do you want to see optimistic people? Of course you do. We need optimism at a time like this. We need to be able to see a bright future. So let’s think about Gandhi’s quote and another quote, which was the quote from the Buddha, I’ve seen it going around a lot. I’ve used it for like the last 20 years or so is “this too shall pass” and it will pass and we will get to the other side of it.

And for those that have stayed present, for those that have grown their levels of optimism, for those that have upskilled. Guess what? The future’s far brighter. Very good. So tune into that. Let’s be the true optimist that we can be. 

Number 14 might be a little bit evangelical for a few of you. Prayer. You know, it’s times like this where situations are magnified and people turn back to things from their childhood. 

 

We’ll turn to something that we’ve not tried before. So for a lot of people who were brought up in spiritual or religious settings start to consider prayer again. Why do we say this? Well, it’s an inside connection. And for those of you that haven’t prayed before, what is prayer? You know, prayer is an act of gratitude, it’s an act of thanks, giving thanks, saying thank you. And isn’t it interesting where probably less and less people pray, but more and more people talk about gratitude.

What is it you’re grateful for today? So the optimist, the optimist focuses on what am I grateful for today? And the pessimist focuses on what are the problems? So let’s enter into a prayer, even if it’s a simple prayer or it’s just an act of gratitude, an act of saying thank you for something that you’ve received, for something that you’ve enjoyed today for something that’s actually become more meaningful. You know, maybe like the food on the table and the food around you. It used to be quick and easy and free and go to restaurants, cafes, bars. Now it’s a little bit more challenging. And so probably your levels of gratitude go up. Let’s remember this moment. Let’s be grateful and let’s consider the abundance that we’ve been enjoying, that as optimists, we’re looking forward to enjoying again. 

Number 15, watch meaningful movies.

 

So here’s the opportunity. I know loads of threads are going around ‘what’s your Netflix top three, five’, but maybe dig a bit deeper and maybe watch something meaningful. I watched the Mary Magdalene movie recently, highly controversial in some Christian circles. Truly magical, meaningful movie. Seeing again the importance of the divine feminine in the world and seeing how central the divine feminine was in the years and the tuition of Jesus. Other films that you might enjoy, complete extreme to what I’ve just talked about, films like Stepbrothers, if you haven’t seen it a bit risque it is an 18, so be careful, if you’re watching it with the children out there – yet hugely humorous. Wedding Crashers, fun movies. What does fun do? It puts a smile on our face. It drives optimism. It up levels the immune system. You know there’s a lot of people out there who tell you how important humour is when strengthening the immune system and building the resources that we really want to carry with us at a time like this. 

Number 16, learn the art of sitting still.

 

Now sitting still is an art. The reason it’s an art, again, because the mind is full of agitation. The mind is constantly whispering, “you need to do this, you need to do that. You know, you need to pick your phone up. You need to go on Facebook, you need to look at WhatsApp”. Okay, put the phone down, step away from the phone. Sit still, turn the phone off. Even maybe as a true optimist, realise that the pessimists are constantly on the phone. Hankering after the next piece of news. Doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, when the mind’s feeding on it. In order to sit still sitting still doesn’t just mean sitting still as a body. It means sitting still as a mind as well just centring yourself, becoming still and sitting and being sitting and being present. Stilling the mind.

Very good. So for those of you that are ready to take on this challenge, I swear to you it’s so worthwhile and once you still the mind stepping into optimism is so much easier. 

The next thing I want to encourage you to do is be silent. 

 

So maybe even while you’re on the inside, and this might help you, certainly in certain family dynamics, is elect to do a day of silence. Maybe do a day a week, pick a particular day. And when you go into silence, the beauty is that you’re left with your own thoughts and interpretations and you can begin to see those unconscious patterns that are constantly spewing out garbage and rubbish normally. So here we are now we’re not only still, we’re being quiet and if we go back, we’re also being in a state of gratitude. If you were able to combine these three, what you’d notice is that not only do you begin to find what we would call the eye of the storm, so in a storm-like situation like this, you can begin to sit still and be present in the eye of it.

And that’s the way that you find the centre in challenging times, you sit still, you’d be quiet. And you remember what it is that you are truly grateful for. 

Number 18 is learn the art of focus. 

 

What do we mean by focus? Well, everyone’s trying to steal your focus at the moment. That’s right. Pull you away into new streams, into statistics, math, numbers, health protocols, and it’s good to have a level of awareness on the information that’s flowing. So find the threads of information that you feel supports that. Limit yourself to maybe you know, half an hour or an hour a day. And then finish because most of the news is just going to simply be repetitive over and over and over, which all that’s doing is feeding the agitated mind. It absolutely adores it. It loves it. For those of you focusing, focus through on what it is that you want.

It might be that you want to sit and write that piece of poetry. It might be that you want to paint something artistic. It might be that you want to learn a song. Whatever it is that you’re choosing to put your focus and your attention into, like me now making this video, is you do the things and focus on the things that you really want to be doing. Do not let anyone else steal your attention or your focus and then you focus your attention in this way. You get done the things that you want to get done. So let’s imagine we want to focus through the situation that we’re in at the moment and focus out the other side. Focus to how you’re going to be once this is all over. And in order to do that, I want to encourage everybody that’s listened to this point in the video. 

Point 19 is prepare for a flying start.

 

What do we mean by that? Now this might take another few weeks, it might take a month, it might take even longer than that. It doesn’t matter. Yet those that are ready and prepared for a flying start, they’re the most optimistic people, because they’re the people who’ve taken the time to allow themselves to plan and to prepare and they’ve done it in a way that will allow them to be ready because what they focused on, what the outcome and the opportunities were for them. So don’t let anyone distract you. You focus on what it is that you want out the other side of this. 

Number 20 is a blank sheet of paper.

 

Number 20, in terms of being the best optimist that you can be, is for you to write down and write out. By all means put down your number 20 under here and maybe instead of having 20 we’ll end up with 25, 30, 40 maybe even many more ideas than that. Thanks for listening today. Support me. Join me in creating optimism inside our society at a time when it really needs it and on behalf of One Breath Global. Stay safe, stay well, and I’ll be looking forward to communicating with you and sharing other ideas that can support you with good news during these times.

Thanks for listening and bye for now.

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