I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women on December 5th, 2013. It’s so awesome when 10,000 women get together who have so much skill, passion, dedication, imagination, and drive. I found a particular comment made by a keynote speaker exceptionally inspiring.
My son regularly has multi-day bad spells with his issues. One such spell almost caused him to be dropped from after-care. Suffice it to say, if we lose after school care, it will make my job of hi-tech CEO much more difficult. My son’s issues and others have been affecting my whole family more deeply than I had imagined. External stressors, like a pipe breaking and ruining ten years of my artwork, just added to it all. Not to mention the holiday planning, which almost always falls to the woman in the family. Sigh…The lot of us have become more than a little pessimistic. With a child with several emotional needs, all the self-recriminations about his conditions, a dog with destructive emotional needs…
I have been living in pessimism for a long time, but I still found hope. Hope that I could help him. Hope that I could redeem myself. Hope that I could help others like us. Those are all reasons I started this company. But, on a daily basis as we struggle with the day-to-day of trying to cope, I live very deeply in pessimism. And I’ve started to notice the very obvious effect of this on all of us from my family to my employees.
Robin Roberts, from Good Morning America, was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. She said two things which were very timely for me in her interview at the conference. "Optimism is a reflex. The more you use it, the stronger it gets", and "You need to change the way you think to change how you feel and live." All this from a woman who survived breast cancer, only to find that the treatment for the breast cancer may very well have caused her to get a rare blood disorder which needs more chemo. But it was this outlook on life which she felt got her through the cancer, and is helping her cope with the blood disorder.
If it can help her get through those seemingly insurmountable challenges, perhaps it will help me and my family cope with it all. It’s certainly worth a try. After all, optimism is a key tool of dreamers and entrepreneurs.