Last year, an 18-year-old boy who played on my son’s high school football team lost his battle with brain cancer. Why would I mention that in a post about optimism? Because this kid—his name was Tom—left an extraordinary legacy of optimism.
As he wrote on his college entrance exams, his outlook on life was the same as his blood type: Be positive (B+). Tom never made it to college, but he lived his B+ philosophy despite the worst possible circumstances and taught a powerful lesson that continues to inspire an entire community.
It’s such a simple sentence, but so difficult to put into consistent practice. It’s an understatement to say it’s tough to be positive and optimistic when you’ve been unemployed for months and can’t find work. Or when you have a job that’s sucking the life out of you, but you can’t seem to move on.
They say some people are born pessimists and some are born optimists. I’m sure that’s true to a degree, but I also agree with Leo Tolstoy’s take on it (this sounds more like Yoda, but it’s Tolstoy.):
"If you want to be happy, be."
OK, but how? To answer that, I’ll turn to another literary giant, Mark Twain, who pointed out:
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer
somebody else up."
Try it; it works! Change your routine, break out of your comfort zone, stop throwing your own personal pity party, and help someone out. Volunteering is great for your resume, so that’s a bonus. And when you’re getting out, meeting others, and helping them? There’s a fancy name for that. It’s called "networking." And it’s probably the best thing you can do for your job search.
For our part, we’ll be posting articles with an Optimism in the Job Search theme on the Pongo Blog every Tuesday throughout March.
It’s almost springtime, when Nature’s perpetual optimism reasserts itself. We hope this month will help you gain a sunnier perspective and renewed sense of all the possibilities each new day brings.
And when you’re feeling low, think of the wisdom of the 18-year-old kid from Massachusetts who knew the key to it all was a plain and simple B+.
What about you? Do you have any tips or resources that have helped you stay optimistic in your job search? We’ll feel better, and so will you, if you share them in a comment below!
Build Your Network and Uncover the Hidden Job Market
Hate Your Job? Stay Positive While You Look for Another
Ditch the Gloom: Keeping Your Head Up in Bad Times