Rusty's Corner: Optimism in the Midst of Fear

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Rusty Thompson on August 20th, 2020

In the past several months, we've had some interesting events in the world, and more specifically even, in our corner of it. We won't list them one-by-one, as we all know several that have made 2020 a year for the record books. In each of these unique challenges there has been a mixture of fear, stress, and panic that has gripped me - for my family, my health, my team, my friends, my business, my church, my community, and my country. I wonder how much less stressful these situations would have been if, instead of looking at the negatives and reacting with fear, I could have looked at things in a different way. 

I speak with our team often about one of our core values, which is having an "Attitude of Optimism." One example is weather, of which can be brutal on our team in a lot of different ways. Hot and dry weather causes dehydration for the team, drought stress in the lawn, and a higher liklehood for chinch bugs. On the other hand consistent rain causes high humidity, scheduling delays, longer work weeks, and saturated lawns. Both extremes are frustrating, and can cause green industry professionals to look negatively upon almost all weather in our ever-changing Florida climate.

Instead of taking the pessimistic view, we talk about how we should be more thankful for the dry weather allowing us to maintain a normal work schedule, and then appreciative of the heavy rains doing a great job of cooling us off and keeping the lawns healthy. We know that we cannot control the weather, but we can control what how we see and percieve the weather. Simply put, we strive to see things from an optimistic point of view.

Negativity only makes a hot day hotter and a long day longer.

When challenges come our way, it may be easy to succumb to negative thoughts; especially as the 24-Hour news cycle continues to push the next breaking news. However, working to change our mindset and look on the bright side allows us to see through the storm to the brighter days on the horizon.

At first, I struggled to come up with positive ways to view recent evens. I looked over things such as:

  • Extra time with my family at home
  • Renewed awareness and focus on my health
  • Increased space in my budget due to not eating out
  • More free time due to the lack of events cluttering my schedule
  • The amazing infastructure of technology we have to work remotely
  • More time outside in nature with so many indoor activities closed
  • More awareness of how we treat others in our community - especially those of a different race

I believe that no matter our circumstances, we can choose to see things in a more positive way. Cultivating an attitude of optimism takes work though.. It also requires that we be honest with ourselves and notice when, as I did earlier this year, we are seeing things through pessimistic eyes. This type of shift in thinking takes a lot of effort but the rewards are great.

I encourage you to adopt an attitude of optimism in your life. It won't just change your attitude though -  it will change your life. That's why I end most all of my emails and communicationswith one statement: "Create A Great Day." It's completely up to you.


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