Moving past pessimism to optimism

New Year, new newsletter! Since LinkedIn has become such a widely used professional network (nearly 800 million members), we’ve moved The Leader Letter to LinkedIn’s Newsletter platform. The Leader Letter will now become a “try-weekly” — I’ll try to post a weekly article. Each issue will focus on one of the personal, team, or leadership/organization development topics you’ll find in our Topic Library (which you can always browse for past blogs, articles, whitepapers, or videos).

You can click here to subscribe to the LinkedIn Newsletter version of The Leader Letter. If you are not already a member of LinkedIn, you’ll see “Join to subscribe” and will need to set up a free LinkedIn account to subscribe and view the newsletter. Once you’re a subscriber, LinkedIn will send you an email notification when each new newsletter is published.

Eight years ago, I started the New Year by countering all the doom and gloom with a review of how much better life is becoming. This became an annual tradition. It started with “A Dose of Reality: Our World is Dramatically Better.” The following year we reported, “Despite Dire Headlines, the World is Getting Much, Much Better.” The next year we added to our long and growing list of positive facts with “Beyond the Doom and Gloom: Over 65 Ways Our World Keeps Getting Better.” After another trip around the sun, we piled on more evidence with “Don’t Get Dragged Down by all the Negative News: Life’s Better Than Ever.” The next year we continued getting real with “Don’t Get Sucked in by the Gloomy Headlines: The World’s Getting Better and Better.” We kicked off 2021 with “Despite Our Incredibly Tough Times, Our World’s Still Getting Better and Better.”

Keeping perspective and staying positive during these challenging times takes work. I subscribe to a variety of newsletters, review Tweets/LinkedIn posts, or visit websites that provide facts, data, and stories of how we’re living in the best of times. Good recent examples are What Went Right in 2021: The Top 26 Good News Stories of the Year from the Positive News newsletter and 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2021 from Future Crunch.

Here are a few of my other favorite sources: “A collection of good news, positive trends, uplifting statistics and facts — all beautifully visualized by Information is Beautiful. To move our attention beyond dramatic news headlines to the slow developments and quiet trends that go unseen and uncelebrated. Amazing things are happening in the world, thanks to human ingenuity, endeavour, and collaboration.”  “The Progress Network is building an idea movement that speaks to a better future in a world dominated by voices that suggest a worse one…. The Progress Network connects and amplifies those voices that are pointing our world in a more positive direction, providing a template for a stable and sustainable future.”  “Historical evidence makes a potent case for optimism. Yet optimism about the current state and future well-being of humankind is difficult to come by….By definition, a world that is populated by flawed human beings cannot be a perfect place. As long as there are people who go hungry or die from preventable diseases, there will always be room for improvement. To that end, everyone has a role to play in helping those in need. By focusing on long-term trends and comparing living standards between two or more generations, however, it is possible to observe much improvement. That improvement is not linear or inevitable, but it is real.” “Reasons to be Cheerful is a non-profit editorial project that is tonic for tumultuous times. We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful. Many of these reasons come in the form of smart, proven, replicable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re here to tell you about some of them. Through sharp reporting, our stories balance a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic rigor and find cause for hope. We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world.”

“The website, with its archive of 21,000 positive news stories from around the globe, confirms what people already know — that good news itself is not in short supply; the broadcasting of it is. From our 5-star app, to our new book (And Now, The Good News: 20 Years of Inspiring News Stories), to our weekly Good News Gurus podcast, and Morning Jolt email newsletter, GNN is a daily dose of hope for millions of fans.”

Cheers to the New Year! May 2022 be our best year yet!