The Optimist Creed…Are You under Positivity Illusion?

Between April and September 2011, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that small businesses in the US became less optimistic about future prospects. This was visible in the Small Business Optimism Index that fell 1.8 points from 89.9.

positive illusionsThis lack of optimism was due to small businesses weakening expectations in the coming few months. The chief economist at NIFB, William Dunkelberg said that “with such a dim outlook, owners are not going to do a lot of hiring or expanding”. Not only the NFIB, the Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index also shows a similar result based on three criteria –US economy, business growth and employment.

If you are in the US and a small business entrepreneur, you are perhaps going through a similar situation yourself. With the US credit rating deflated and the debt situation equally worse, small businesses are finding it harder to sustain themselves.

In this situation, when people were asked whether you are optimistic about the future, I think they are primarily asking two questions:

  1. Is there a place for optimism in our present condition?
  1. Where do you stand in the optimism index?

Again, in conditions like this, people often become a victim of “positivity illusion” or “optimism bias”.

Optimism bias is a condition where people measure their chances of experiencing a good outcome or bad outcome against others. By a good outcome, one generally means getting a job, financial security, healthy kids and a successful marriage.

By a bad outcome, one generally means health problems, loss of jobs, marriages breaking apart and other things.

SO, when people ask what you think about the future, they are measuring their own chances of faring either good or bad against the other person’s chances. It is natural human behavior to think like this; however, in the long run, it will create problems.

Whenever there is any problem, a person first thinks of securing themselves and then thinks about the well being of other people.

In an economy that the US is facing now, it is necessary to give up this positivity illusion, that is, worry less about how you as an individual is faring and be more concerned about the community you live in… because if the community is prosperous, you are prosperous.

I know that it is difficult for small businesses to survive in a turbulent economy but one does have to make the best of what they have; however, one should never be overoptimistic. It is good to be optimistic, but you should never be under the illusion that everything is fine nor should you be overoptimistic – either way, you will have a false sense of well being.

Then, let me ask you —

Do you have reasons to be optimistic in the current economic downturn?

There are, according to me. Even though there are many empty glasses strewn around, there are glasses that are half-full, which should be inspiration enough for you. The glasses half-full teach a very important lesson – the possibility of improvement.

The present recession is a major indication of how human folly can be very dangerous for us. Economic projections of the last few years have done us more harm than good.

It is not that today’s economic conditions will have a cataclysmic effect on us and we will change for the better suddenly, but there is always a tiny light of hope. HOPE is what we humans survive on.

We can only learn from our follies and learn to change.

What can we change?

  • We can learn to be positively optimistic, without being under illusions.
  • We can learn to live frugally.
  • We can learn to save money.
  • We can learn to volunteer for the betterment of the community.
  • We can learn to use sustainable goods.
  • We can learn to use natural sources of energy.
  • We can learn to become more financially responsible.
  • We can learn to care for others.

If you think optimistically, it is good for you. Just make sure your optimism does not rub others the wrong way. Don’t be overoptimistic and optimistically illusioned. Keep your thoughts balanced and try to analyze your conditions intelligently.

Know what optimism is and how your perception defines you here.

The Sound of Success: Inspiration to Help You Stick With It

Sometimes the fruits of our labor don’t drop as soon as we’d like, and then when they do drop, it’s in the last place we’d expect. In times like these it is all we can do to just persist and keep doing the best we can. But how are we supposed to continue on without any sign of progress or reward?

inspirational storiesWe’ve all been in a situation that tried our patience, whether it is at work, where you’re just not getting that raise you know you deserve; or at home, where you just aren’t losing the weight you desperately want to.

Staying the course can be difficult, and in these situations a little inspiration goes a long way.

If you are in need of that little bit of inspiration, the following story should be music to your ears.


A sixth grade boy, Jared, showed up on my doorstep for piano lessons. His mother dropped him off without coming inside or introducing herself, so I was left alone with the boy, who sat politely on my piano bench awaiting instruction.

I tried to explain to Jared that I usually did not teach boys as old as him, mostly because they were too rambunctious and resistant to learning. Jared only smiled at me and promised to be on his best behavior, excitedly telling me that he was determined to learn to play for his mother, who dreamed of hearing him play some day.

His willingness and charm convinced me that he would be a moldable student, but his native talent did not match his enthusiasm. In fact, he seemed to have been born with no understanding of tone or rhythm, the two basic building blocks of music.

Normally I would have discouraged a student like this—piano just isn’t for everyone—but I could tell right away that nothing could suppress his zeal. That, and I never met his mother.

I taught Jared for over three months, and never once got the opportunity to speak with his mother. If I had, I probably would have tried to discuss the matter with her.

To my surprise (and I must admit, to my relief) Jared didn’t show up one afternoon, and then never returned. I felt a little guilty about feeling the way I did, but at that point I felt like all my efforts were not getting Jared any closer to his dream.

A few weeks passed and still no word from Jared; but there was a recital coming up, and I thought it would have been insensitive to not at least send him a flyer along with all my other students. A day after I sent out the invitations I got a call from Jared (which surprised me, for obvious reasons) saying that he would be there.

Jared persisted and I caved, against my better judgment. Something inside told me that it would be ok, and I uncharacteristically listened.

The recital went splendidly. All of my students played their pieces flawlessly, and the auditorium was packed.

Then it was Jared’s turn.

In all the hubbub, I hadn’t caught a glimpse of his mother, but assumed she was in the crowd somewhere.

I will admit that when Jared took his seat at the bench, I was a little more than apprehensive. He lightly placed his fingers on the keys, and when he started playing …
It was outstanding!

In all our time together, Jared had never showed this incredible talent that now was impressing both the audience and me. When he concluded his piece, the audience roared with applause and I couldn’t help but run and hug Jared.

On stage, I asked Jared where his mother was, and his response devastated me.

“My mother died of cancer this morning, and even though she was born deaf,
I knew she could hear me tonight. She finally got to hear me perform!”

It was at that moment that I realized the true meaning of persistence, and was so glad I hadn’t given up on Jared.

Even more so, however, I realized how much Jared had taught me. He never gave up, even when his mother was too sick to bring him to practice, and in the end, his hard work paid off.

It was music to my ears.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges and She loves receiving reader feedback.

The Optimist Creed…Your Perception Defines You

Mike and Jake were two agents working in a shoe manufacturing company. One day the boss called them to his cabin and asked them whether they would interested to visit Africa for few days and prepare a report analyzing the business opportunities in Africa. Both Mike and Jake were brilliant marketers and they readily agreed. They spent 30 days touring the tribal areas and in the end, both presented different marketing reports.

  1. Mike concluded that there is no market for shoes because the tribal people don’t wear shoes.
  2. Jake concluded that there is a huge potential for shoes because the tribal people don’t wear shoes.

The Optimist Creed Your Perception Defines YouYou see, even though Mike and Jake agreed on one common thing, that is, the tribal people don’t wear shoes, their perception of the situation is altogether different – Mike says there is no potential, while Jake says there is huge potential. Who is the optimist here?

If one is so naïve to follow Mike’s perception, the business is doomed.

The success of a business lies in your perception. The difference between a successful online home based business and a non-successful one will always depend on your perception to identify opportunities. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking!

Positive thinking makes you competent. A not-so-positive thinker simply does not have the drive and perseverance to handle business. When you have a positive perception, you can actually visualize the path to success and you are able to identify advantageous opportunities.

A positive thinker is also an optimist. Seeing the bright side of things is not everyone’s forte.

As a newbie in a home based online business, you have to readily face the demons of your own creation. This means you should not treat your business casually and work really hard to make it a success.

  • Your positive thinking will motivate you to attain goals and ambition you never thought was possible.
  • Your positive thinking will get you through bad days.
  • You positive thinking will always motivate you to see the brighter side of things.

When you are able to identify the streak of positivity, the dash of optimism and calculative perception, you can automatically make your home based online business dream come true.

Further, building a positive perception is not only about YOU; your positive perception will reflect and benefit your business decisions as well. Like you, there are thousands of small business owners trying to establish their foothold but the only factor to distinguish between them and you is your personal and business perception.

As in the story above, you need to have the perception and optimism of Jake to succeed.

Every minor and major decision you take about your business is the result of your perceptions that define you.

The Optimist Creed

There are many times in one’s life when just a little, quick “pick-me-up”can go along way.

Starting a business – growing it – maintaining it and trying to “make it” sometimes can become difficult, frustrating and lonely.

The Optimist CreedMany people in our inner circles have no idea what we, as entrepreneurs are doing, where our ideas come from and why we have so much drive to succeed.

That’s why this “Inspiration” category is so very important too me and like wise for you.

I love to read other inspirational stories or quotes from time to time because it allows me to realize we are not alone in our quest to make some kind of difference in this huge – ever- changing world.

Sometimes I feel lost. Sometimes I feel self-doubt. But when you read a quick pick-me-up verse, quote or story, seemingly enough, it embeds itself in the heart…not just the mind.

It just feels good – gives a lift – inspires and grounds your intentions.

So I’m encouraging you, my reader, to find time to read the posts in this section while learning your way through all that Casper and I have in store for you with Income Insiders.

We are not just teaching the mechanics of how to build – grow – maintain and become successful in your business, but also how believing in yourself, building confidence and giving back to others is such a critical part in that success.

The Optimist Creed is a great place to start. I have it printed out and hung on my board where I can see it and read it in a matter of minutes every day. I encourage you to do the same. So…

Promise Yourself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make optimism come true.
  • To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

For all you readers who love inspiration, please leave a comment about what inspires you below so we can all share them together!