Optimism-January 2020

OPTIMISM: “The Power of Positive Thinking”

by Ryan Scott, Main Street Elementary School & Kindergarten Center Principal

On Monday, December 6th, Brett Lockart, addressed Main Street Student-Leaders regarding Optimism.

Mr. Lockart introduced himself as Vice-President of First Federal of Central Illinois & also 2nd Grade Student-Leader, “Teddy’s dad” w/ pride.

Brett then worked through the basic “rules” of serving as a community-leader speaker that Teddy told him.

How many years ago were you a student @ Main Street School? He & his wife are products of Shelbyville & sat in this same gym thirty plus years ago. Tell an interesting story about when you were @ Main Street School: He told a story of winning a spelling bee. Teddy helped guide him through this w/ humorous video clips & his peers definitely enjoyed.

Brett then transitioned into defining Optimism: “a feeling or belief that good things will happen.” He paired this w/ the definition of antonym, pessimism. He highlighted that being optimistic is not being happy all of the time. He used the classic glass of water metaphor. However, he went further to explain that the attitude and belief is temporary verse permanent.

We will all feel emotions such as depression, embarrassment, regret, etc…& those feelings do not feel good. This is part of life even though parents & teachers do want them to be happy. The students are well served to maintain a belief that this is temporary & the feelings they are currently experiencing or their station in life will improve if they do not give up & maintain a positive mindset. The pessimist believes this is the “default” & more permanent & “good times” are strikes of luck occurring infrequently.

Mr. Lockart told a personal story showcasing the mindset and attitude effect in a family situation. This story was easy to relate to.

Mr. Lockart also created three hypothetical situations that were not ideal. Mrs. Leslie Miller, 1st grade teacher, showcased the pessimist response & Mr. Scott, Principal, showcased the optimist.

This led into the question of why is this attitude important. People w/ a positive mindset live longer & are healthier. He even referenced a study of people over one hundred years old. Optimists achieve more at school & work & respond to stress more effectively. Optimists have more self-esteem & more friends. People want to be around positive people.

This was a great point. We need positive people on a TEAM. Any organization or family benefits from these individuals. Students seemed to easily identify the most optimistic people in their lives.

Mr. Lockart closed w/ acknowledging that this is something that can be improved in our lives. We can “grow” a more positive mindset. He then ended w/ a quote, “not every day is good, but there is good in every day.”

We get to “choose our attitude.” I admitted that this is not as easy especially when we are tested in our lives. However, there are a few habits we can develop to help such as exercise, being kind and grateful & positive self-talk.

How we respond to life is a choice; choose to be optimistic.