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This is Not a Political Post...

Krista GanoComment

This is not a political post.... AND...here's the idea I want to discuss today.  We'll start with a quote:

“The discipline of optimism asks you to believe that — with focused effort — things can get better, even when times are bleak. It asks you to look up and forward when you’re tempted to look down and back.”
— Barack Obama

What do you think about that?

Well, the first thing that really resonates for me, personally, is that I picked “Dicipline” as my word for the year (see my first post if you want to read more about that).  So, I’m fascinated with the notion of optimism as a discipline.  How do I work every day on optimism?  How do I practice looking forward with focused effort when I'm tempted to look anywhere else?  Well, I can tell you that some days I don’t do a darn thing.  There is no focused effort (remember my binge watching?).  Many days the optimism level on my tank reads empty!  Then again, I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about optimism in the terms of it being a discipline and it's kind of blowing my mind.  

If I practice optimism as a discipline, that means it's a skill that I can nurture and grow.  I can filter my day through this concept in an empowered way.  Optimism becomes a choice rather than something that I may occasionally stumble across.....if I'm lucky.

Which brings me to my second thought.  Although it may not always feel like it, artists are the true ambassadors of this discipline.  Think about it.  When things get really tough, we make art.  We charge headlong into the bleak, exposing our underbellies so that others can feel...can laugh... can cry through us…and as a result, we model what it is “to look up and forward when you’re tempted to look down and back”.  Really think about that….it's pretty humbling and wholly inspiring!

Now don’t get me wrong.  We have all been part of projects that are a s*#t show.  We have played roles that feel shallow and purposeless and have felt misunderstood or dismissed by our collaborators.  And yet, we continue to plunge ourselves into the art of finding possibility.  Every film or project ever made has times that feel bleaker than bleak, and we continue to push forward.  We stand up to scrutiny and open our hearts to constant judgment again and again.  Every artist knows the power of moving forward when every indicator says, "stop".  Many call us dreamers….some may call us crazy, but what if those "dreams" and that "crazy" were harnessed with focused effort through a practiced discipline of optimism?  It's something that is really exciting to me and I hope for you, too. 

Now, to a wee bit of politics.  Again, this is not a political post, but the timing of this post was most certainly planned.  So, on the eve of a major transition in our country, I would just like to thank our 44th President.  Thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country.  Thank you for helping us to understand the focused discipline of hope and optimism in preparation for what is to come...and that’s about as political as you'll see me get here.