The subtle art of being an optimist

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This is the story of the untold. Far from the soaring crowds, the million dollars purses, and the  courtesy cars. Far from the airplanes, the beautiful landscapes and places we get to discover.  Far, in the midst of the unknown. 

Psychologist Angela Duckworth wrote « it is not suffering that leads to hopelessness, it is the suffering you think you can’t control.» Her words speak louder with today’s global pandemic. Forced to stay home, away from the ones we love and left in a sentiment of hopelessness, our invisible enemy has shown no mercy.

Yesterday I was a professional golfer, playing golf was what I did for a living. But today I am not. For how long exactly? I am not sure but this is the reality I came to face.  

Such is one lesson the Pandemic has taught me; choosing to be an optimist means we first need to accept things for what they really are. In today’s world it means taking the financial hit, distancing ourselves socially and learning to connect in different ways so that we can build a better future.  

There is a clear distinction between living in a fantasy world and being an optimist. The fantasist exists through what he does and acknowledges the reality he wants to see because it’s convenient to do so. 

The optimist takes the hard path. He understands that each situation is specific and temporary. He sees things for what they are and is resolved to make tomorrow better no matter the circumstances. What he does may change, but why he does it remains constant – that is the things he believes in and is willing to fight for. 

Such is the other lesson the pandemic has taught me: what we do is fragile and doomed to change. Why we do things, however, will always remain constant. 

I wish for all of you to remain optimists and flexible in these time of uncertainties. Some doors may close, but others will open. 

Joël 

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