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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

How Deep Optimism Is the Key to Solving the World’s Biggest Problems and Yours

People often ask, “are you a glass is half full or half empty kind of person?”

Entrepreneurs I’ve known can look at a virtually empty glass and see it as full. For a long time, I figured that they all must suffer from some shared psychosis, but I’ve come to appreciate that entrepreneurs aren’t blind optimists or mentally ill—they know something others don’t: they know where to get the water.

For most of my career, I have worked with entrepreneurs. For the past seven years, I’ve worked primarily with mission-driven business owners who are focused on solving a social problem, not just an economic one.

Now, I see an entrepreneur’s view as “deep optimism.”

This is not about believing today is going to be a good day nor even about having confidence in your solution to a big problem. And it isn’t only about knowing where the water is.

To the contrary, it starts with a recognition that action trumps attitude. Nothing is as likely to make today great as doing something great.

Picture a beach covered with crude oil after an oil spill. A good attitude and cheerleaders won’t clean it up. It will require hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours of careful scraping and scooping to remove the layer of muck and return the beach to its pristine condition.

Your book won’t write itself because you have a good attitude; you have to sit down and put words on the page. Your business won’t grow because you will it to; it will grow only when you do the work required.

Deep optimism, you see, isn’t about seeing the glass as half full, it’s about knowing where the water is and then fetching it.

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