What stories are we telling ourselves and the people we love? Are they serving us or hurting us? And them?
In today’s show, the power of story is made alarmingly clear—I mean powerful at the neurochemical level, and I mean alarmingly in that many of us are mostly passive in allowing old, unchecked, and disempowering stories about ourselves drive us—and not anywhere we want to go.
At minimum, you will leave this interview feeling confident and optimistic about yourself, your world, and the prospects in it, as Christmas Hutchinson convincingly reminds each of us that we’re worth more than we give ourselves credit for. Not a little more…way more.
Why do some people thrive in the face of hardship while others are crushed? To this challenging listener question, Matthew answers essentially that it’s about building resilience through the method of optimism versus the default of passive pessimistic resignation. On a deeper level, it’s about free will (optimistic) versus determinism (pessimistic).
Do your surroundings overwhelm and hamper your life? Are you aware of how they impact your experience of working, playing, and living?
In this episode, Matthew outlines how to be conscious of the places and spaces within which we live our lives and how not to allow them to dictate to us. You can choose and shape everything about your life, including your character, your body, your relationships, your work, your style, and–of course–your environments.
Get on the same page with your friends, teammates, co-workers–and most importantly–your dearest ones to more fully achieve your goals and have fewer frustrating fights.
In this episode, Matthew discusses and illustrates why constant communication is paramount in “merging your values” with those whose lives are tied to your own, particularly your loved ones. He highlights the reasons why partnerships flounder and fail, and offers the constructive means by which successful associations (including couples) create a “culture” or “identity” towards joyful progress.
The following is a revised excerpt from my essay, “What is Objective Optimism?”, which you can read in full here. For a briefer introduction to Objective Optimism (OO), which is distinct from Pessimism and—more notably—from Subjective “Optimism” (SO), go here.For some illustrative applications of OO versus Pessimism and SO, go here.
In the Q&A of a mock panel discussion related to the topic of Pessimism versus Optimism in my university classroom this past semester, one student asked the “panelists” an excellent question: Does success lead to optimism or does optimism lead to success?
The following is a revised excerpt from my essay, “What is Objective Optimism?”, which you can read in full here. For a briefer introduction to Objective Optimism (OO), which is distinct from Pessimism and—more notably—from Subjective “Optimism” (SO), go here.
In my essay, “What is Objective Optimism?”, I take great pains to separate Objective Optimism (OO) from the subjectivist who evades awareness of real risk or downside and attempts to operate in a kind of “ignorance-is-bliss” euphoria. “It’ll all work out” is not a formula for optimal results and cannot properly be called optimism. I also repeatedly emphasize that the issue of optimism versus pessimism is not about accurately or inaccurately calculating probabilities, but rather, given the probable outcomes, upon what does one place one’s focus and how does one proceed in action?
Note: I am not a philosopher or psychologist nor any kind of expert in either field. But that doesn’t disqualify the following hypothesis as haphazard or necessarily invalid. I say simply that it corresponds with my experience, organizing without contradiction the successes and failures I’ve observed in other people and in my own life. Each aspect of my life improves to the extent I apply this framework, and it falters to the extent I stray from it.
In spite of all that, please consider the following a hypothesis and not a definitive proclamation. The method itself demands that I never cease to revise and reorganize my ideas into clearer and more precise concepts as I take on challenges from others (and myself) and as I live and learn. But I’ve been living and learning for a long while, and in this first “essay,” it is the most comprehensive formulation I can make to date.
Optimism’s got a bad rap. It is associated with ignorance, naivety, and immaturity. A Morgan Housel article does well to highlight a few reasons why pessimism is sexy, but John Stuart Mill in any case identified the tendency over 150 years ago:
“I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs while others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.”
An optimist is an adorable but pitiful child who expects the best in the world until such a sage elder (or harsh reality) snaps them out of their foolish, idealistic notions and expectations. The child is an adult now, properly cynical and “realistic.”