February 25, 2011

The power of optimism

In Leslie Beck's Longevity Diet, Leslie Beck writes, "Being optimistic is a choice you make and it's a choice that can help you live a longer, healthier life. If negative thinking tends to pervade your outlook, there are ways to help you start seeing the glass half full. Even optimists need to make an effort every so often to reframe their outlook."

Her key tips for creating and/or maintaining an optimistic frame of mind are: 
- Use positive self-talk
- Live for the day
- Smile more often
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Put yourself first
- Give back to others.

Generally I'm an optimistic person. And if I'm in a down mood, a run always cheers me up. However, I also can be a worrier, with a tendency to assume the worst. 

As I'm about to release my fifth book, A Hundred Reasons to Run 100km, I feel particularly vulnerable and stressed. No doubt the mental exhaustion of having worked so hard and intense on this book, which I conceived, wrote (and rewrote several times), before doing all the hard work involved in its independent publication, has played a role. 

Being tired doesn't spur optimism. I think about all the negative possibilities: are the people who have so far told me they like/love my book about ultrarunning being sincere, or are they just being nice as they don't want to hurt my feelings? What if the people I've sent it to for review don't like it? What if it doesn't sell? What if people judge me a poor writer? 

There's no reason to think like that. Instead, I could be considering: What if everyone loves it? What if it becomes a bestseller?

As I'm impatiently waiting for the final proof copy of this book to arrive by mail (for a final check of the paperback before its release next month), I've had time to regroup. And I'm involved in the editing and publishing of two books, each by first-time authors, which has been very exciting. 

One book is nearly done. The other has a tight deadline and is progressing well. They're both written by people who are knowledgable and passionate about their topics, and I'm happy to share what I've learned about authorship and publishing in the past three years.

I absolutely love being an author, and being an independent one at that. Yes it can be nervewracking but today I choose to be positive!

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