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Optimist Day was yesterday, yesterday being the first Thursday in February. You would think we’d have taken to the streets, tossing confetti and dancing the samba. But we’re not optimists, we’re SuperOptimists. As such, we celebrate our contrarian view of optimism at off-peak times, when there are no lines at our favorite restaurant and a seat available on the M5 bus.

The Friday after Optimist Day is a good time to reflect on the difference between plain old ordinary optimism and our supercharged, quantum state belief system. Herewith, we offer the following explanation, culled from the transmitters’ original manuscript, to clarify what is meant — in broad terms — by SuperOptimism.

In the Figure 1 diagram , you will see the mental states that are commonly experienced by human beings. They range from a state of despair to a state of joy. The “gates” to these opposites, joy and despair, are optimism and pessimism.

Hence, the three working definitions which help us to better understand the significance of placing the word “Super” before the word “Optimist.”

Optimist: One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

Pessimist: One who usually expects a negative outcome.

SuperOptimist: One who has learned the mental discipline to reframe any situation into a favorable outcome.

Therefore, we may extrapolate the following: If the situation is good, the SuperOptimist reframes it as “even better.” If the situation seems bad, negative, gloomy, sad, doomed, or awful, then the SuperOptimist reframes that so-called “bad” situation into one that is just as “good” as a good situation. Or better.

Sometimes it will seem very difficult to reframe an event (parking ticket, bad haircut, influenza, divorce) in a SuperOptimistic way, but fortunately for us, humans are very good at building habits into habitual behavior. Simply stated, if you can make a habit of being a SuperOptimist for 5 minutes today, you can be one for 10 minutes tomorrow, and 20 the next day.

 

 

 

O glorious day! For July 3rd is the anniversary of Franz Kafka’s birth.

And yet, we prefer to roll out the sheet cake for his friend Max Brod.  If not for dear Max, we’d have no idea who Franz Kafka even was.

As it turns out, Mr. Brod was the reticent author’s lifelong pal and literary executor. In failing health, and having received little acknowledgement for his storytelling efforts, Kafka entrusted Max to destroy all his unpublished work upon his death. But when Franz finally met his maker,  Brod ignored his deceased friend’s wishes. Instead of torching Kafka’s manuscripts, he had them published instead.

Without Brod making that fateful decision, Kafka would have remained an anonymous insurance man who wrote fiction on the side. And we would not have  “The Trial,”  “The Castle” or “Amerika” to read, ponder and cherish.  So on this blessed July 3rd, we give thanks for Max Brod — and the reminder that it’s occasionally beneficial to listen to voices other than our own.