Happy 23…

Our son, Taylor, turns 23 tomorrow. Last night he told some funny truth to Miss and me. He came over with my copy of the book Learned Optimism, gripped securely in his hand. He’s staying with the dogs while Miss and I hit KC and came over last night a bit early to our pleasant surprise. He had a little more giddy up in his step as he walked in the garage door with his new coffee maker in one hand and Learned Optimism in the other. “Did Mom show you the text I sent her? ” he exclaimed with excitement and anticipation.

What text, I replied curiously.

He couldn’t wait to tell me about it. He opened the book and shared something surprising. The ccd magic is I’m an optimist! You see, he knows that I’ve been telling family, friends, and clients about my learned optimism score for sixteen years now. When I took the test, way back in the day, I was dismayed at my score of 1, which indicates that I’m a mild pessimist. As I’ve told countless times, the convincing argument for my pessimism came when I asked our oldest son, Jordan, what he thought of my explanatory style. He concurred that mild pessimism sounded about right. I’ve been working on learning optimism ever since. Well, it turns out, (thanks to Tay) that my lack of structure and order (following directions) cost me. You see, Tay had my book with my scoring still written for him to see for himself. He saw I had made a mistake by adding my hope score to my total b score which gave me a false negative by five points. So, instead of being a 1, my accurate score should have been a 6 (mildly optimistic). He and I sat at the Island counter and laughed our bunnies off. Miss was across the way doing some last minute work and laughed too.

So, it turns out all my work on learning optimism was an effort in fixing something that wasn’t broken. Or, maybe just maybe, it was good work that needed to be done. Maybe my pessimism, just like yours, is situational and personal. Maybe I still need to work on learning optimism for certain circumstance, situations, and conversations. One thing, I’m learning with regard to Tay is that he’s a great compliment to my creativity. He is loving this work and I’m loving his contribution. He is bringing thoughts, “ands,” and his strengths around structure and order. He is making our work better. He is making me better. Tay is 23 and transforming me. Happy 23 T. Happy 23.

Together we transform. Always together, huh Tay…

2 thoughts on “Happy 23…

  1. Classic Chet!! DD has me digging into Learned Optimism as well. I lean pessimistic by default although most wouldn’t know it. Working on D & E after A, B & C. I like your words on situational optimism/pessimism. I think that’s very true. We can skew both ways. Awareness and Intention are the key from my vantage point. When the lizard brain takes over, how do we acknowledge and respond? Happy birthday to Taylor! What a blessing to have that relationship. Thx for sharing as always.

  2. Good thinking Jon. Enjoy the read and as always we have to figure out how to apply the learning to ourselves. No one size fits all when it comes to our learning. Thanks for your kind wishes for Tay’s birthday and, yes, it’s amazing having him coming alongside…

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