Being an optimist has its downsides. Sometimes those of us who see the glass half full are guilty of wishful thinking. We also have illusions that we can control certain situations. That’s why it’s been so difficult to remain consistently upbeat over the past few years. With so much upheaval day after day after day, it has definitely seemed at times that everything was out of control.
But it’s really a matter of perspective, right? We can control the way we think about, and respond, to change. As motivational writer William Arthur Ward wrote, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
What’s the secret to staying positive—and practical—when the winds are constantly shifting? One of my colleagues has a mantra, “everything in business, and in life, is a great adventure.” With that perspective, she says that ups and the downs are simply opportunities to learn and grow. Another friend who is an avid comic book fan, thinks about his favorite Marvel hero. Doing so reminds him to be brave and face challenges head on.
Every optimist I know has their own approach and tips to staying positive. Here are a few of mine:
Light at the end of the tunnel
Recently, I unearthed a 28-year-old Courier Post with a cover story featuring our founder, Janis Sweeney. The subhead reads: “Uncertainty. Optimists point to a drop in the jobless rate. Yet others fear rising interest rates will threaten jobs.”
This sound just like some headlines from a few weeks ago. Well, it was written in 1994.
It’s a perfect example of how everything in business has a life cycle. When you’re in a trough, it seems like forever. When you’re on top, it never seems long enough. But as we’ve all seen, the bad times eventually come to an end. Remembering that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel gets me through the tough times.
Keep an open mind
The pandemic was the first time in company history that NEMR worked remotely. It was a scary proposition because we built our culture on camaraderie that was fostered in the office. Still, we kept an open mind.
When we returned to the worksite, we introduced a hybrid schedule that includes every other Friday off. Now, our team members have more time to spend with friends and family, to unwind or catch up. It’s a fantastic solution. We’re attracting really great talent, and our people are happy and engaged. If we weren’t open to new ideas, we might have succumbed to external pressures, kept the office open and damaged the culture we worked so hard to build.
Instead, it is better than ever.
Lean on relationships
In the midst of the pandemic, something really critical for me was a peer group I participate in with other PEO executives around the country. Now some might say, ‘why share information with competitors?’ I prefer to think of these businesspeople as collaborators—and friends. Every one of us knows we can rely on one another for best practices, brainstorming, vendor intelligence and more.
It is refreshing, and it is highly valuable to have a support system inside your industry, but outside of your own business.
Stay mission focused
Your mission is your guide through turbulent times. Ours is this: to be a decisive advisor that makes a positive difference for our clients. So, it doesn’t matter if things are going haywire, if things are going nuts, the good days, the bad days – at NEMR we are singularly focused on this charge.
Staying true to your mission allows you to focus on what’s most important. Ultimately, that’s going to take care of your business, your people and your clients.
If you’re looking for an upbeat HR partner that can have a positive impact for you and your company, look no further than NEMR Total HR. Chat with us or Email Us.