In an uncertain world we have a choice to cultivate the spirit of optimism. It’s easiest to be pessimistic, to moan and groan, and complain about how things aren’t working out. Or, we buy into the blame game: It’s the bad economy, our ineffective government, the boss’s attitude, or the poor job outlook. We can go on and on in this dreary and unproductive place.

We somehow think that complaining is a problem-solving technique, when in reality it’s a way to stay stuck and unaccountable.

“Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve. We have every reason to be optimistic in this world. Tragedy surrounds us, yes. Problems are everywhere, yes. Yet, we can’t, we don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. Look with optimism, work with conviction, and things happen.” —Gordon B. Hinckley

Times of uncertainty and unpredictability, according to Ilya Prigogine, are less a limitation than a recognition of creative possibilities. Prigogine, a Belgian physical chemist (1917-2003), won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1977.

He explains, “Our thoughts always undergo a flux—they are being offered additional choices [like tributaries branching off from a large body of water], if we begin to notice with curiosity instead of fear. Our thoughts create our future, either negatively or positively. The capacity to live in doubts and uncertainty forms the basis of creative power.” When we move into possibility thinking, we become empowered to improve, discover, problem-solve, and make our lives better.

Check out Michael Hyatt’s blog about reframing our negative stories: