Day 185 – Learned optimism…

On this Independence Day it is good to recall the courage, the sacrifices and the faith of those who fought for freedom to establish our Republic. Against all odds. The history of the Revolutionary War is a vivid picture of the importance of having a strong Core and the consequences of a weak one. 

The reflections of George Washington give insight into a leader whose strong Core, grounded in his Worldview, enabled him to endure and lead against all odds. To me Washington is a picture of flexible optimism, grounded, resilient and realistic. What I find fascinating in his writings is the nature of his self-talk. 

“We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth New Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.” – Letter to Philip Schuyler, July 15, 1777, after the loss of Fort Ticonderoga

“We have, as you very justly observe, abundant reason to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.” – Letter to William Gordon, March, 1781

“We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience. To enveigh against things that are past and irremediable, is unpleasing; but to steer clear of the shelves and rocks we have struck upon, is the part of wisdom, equally as incumbent on political as other men, who have their own little bark, or that of others, to navigate through the intricate paths of life, or the trackless ocean, to the haven of security and rest.” – Letter to Major General Armstrong, March 26, 1781

“I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.”

Hard on self, not down on self. Self-talk rooted in his Worldview. Future-focused, learned from failures, was not stuck in the past. Realistic. Positive. Optimistic. 

We all have the choice to challenge our self-talk. What are we believing in a given situation? Is it true? Is our Worldview helping or hurting our attitude? 

Sounds like freedom to me. 

2 thoughts on “Day 185 – Learned optimism…

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