I was wondering about my attitude of hopeful optimism in the face of steep odds, and what’s behind it.
And while reading (for the n’th time) a story in the ‘Just William’ series (William, the Good), the penny dropped.
Richmal Compton’s 11 year-old hero William sets himself an “impossible” goal – to raise 8 and six pence for a shiny new set of cricket stumps… by evening!
All through the day, his increasingly desperate plans fail one after another, until by tea time, all he has is a penny.
And then comes the twist that’s made me an incurable optimist.
An opportunity lands in William’s lap. He seizes it.
He gets the 8s 6d needed for his stumps.
Reading story after story like this at an age and stage where minds are malleable and attitudes waiting to be shaped can only result in a worldview rich in positivity, hope and the happy ending.
True, stuff I learned later from Zig Ziglar and Norman Vincent Peale, from Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, from Napoleon Hill, David Schwartz, Jim Rohn, John Maxwell and many, many more helped consolidate that viewpoint.
But books like the William and Golden Books series (especially ‘The Little Blue Engine That Could‘) laid the foundation for this far, far earlier.
They ploughed the fertile soil of my mind, and nurtured the shoot of optimism until it took root deeply, only to grow stronger when constantly nourished by a mental diet of self-help reading.
And there’s a tangible benefit to being hopeful.
In the intensive care unit, caring for a desperately sick child recovering from a complicated, difficult operation and who is now sinking despite the medical team’s best efforts, it’s only indefatigable optimism that keeps everyone trying – against all odds.
Hope alone doesn’t achieve miracles. 9 out of 10 patients in this condition won’t pull through.
But hope and unshakeable belief are what fuel the effort that leads to 1 in 10 kids making it.
And that’s a BIG win.
It leads to ambitious efforts like the ‘47 Hearts Project’ that has sponsored 137 heart operations until now – starting from a place where, like William in search of 8s 6d, I wasn’t even sure it was practical to fund ONE surgery!
Richmal Compton, Mabel Bragg, Enid Blyton and so many writers of childrens’ books can rightfully claim credit for millions of such “success stories”.
Which is what motivates me to write inspirational posts, stories and books on my blog and for Kindle. Like ‘47 HEARTS: How To Live Your Dreams‘, a guide which many readers have said kickstarted their own dreams and encouraged them to go for it.
In a world rife with strife, with the news media reeking of negativity, we all can do with a nice, stiff dose of optimism-generating motivation.
Seek it. Find it. Imbibe it.
Because the impact it can have, both on you and others you interact with, can be mind-boggling and amazing.
Have a great weekend read!
Recommended Reading List:
* Just William (a 14 book series, now available on Kindle)
* 47 Hearts – by yours truly!
* Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
* The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
* See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar