Optimism Is Not a State of Being, It’s a Work in Progress


“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

As we move into National Optimism Month, I want to acknowledge that maintaining a positive perspective isn’t easy. As Brené so eloquently points out, without the darkness, we have nothing by which to measure the light. 

If you’re feeling stuck, afraid, trapped or run down, it’s ok. This too shall pass, and you will grow because of it. You may not want to read this now (so please do come back when you’re ready), but adversity and obstacles make us into the best versions of ourselves. I might even argue that adversity helps nurture optimism.

Darkness holds the potential to strengthen us, pushes us to reach for better ways of living and working and develops our sense of resilience that only expands as we learn from our failures. You will emerge stronger, wiser and more confident if you’re willing to put in the work, and the maintenance it takes to keep a sense of optimism.

An optimist myself, I have conviction that The Best Seller, and the five-plus years my dad and I spent writing and editing the book, will pay off by creating more optimists in its wake. I’ve been in a position of feeling stuck, disconnected to a greater purpose, and through mentoring and other principles outlined more formally in the book, followed a path out of that darkness and into a position of optimism. It varies day-to-day, but it’s a cultivated perspective that I value and play an active role in maintaining, even when it’s a challenge…especially when it’s a challenge. 

I hope this book can be many things to many people, but especially a catalyst for a new, hopeful way of approaching both professional and personal pursuits. 

More on the science of optimism here if you’d like to dive deeper into the scientific benefits of fostering a glass-half-full attitude from Happify.

Katie Bishop and her father, Doug Reichardt stayed optimistic together over 5 years to finish a novel on how to leverage favorable access and demand-pull in business, sales, and life. Their novel, now available on Amazon, follows a young woman struggling in her career who finds inspiration and wisdom in her journey. Want an early copy? Stay in the loop.