The Future of Optimism - Institute for Educational Advancement

The Future of Optimism

By Zadra Rose Ibañez

Spring is in the air.  The days are getting longer, the nights are getting shorter and the weather is starting to warm up across the country.  Now is the perfect time to repot plants, trim or take cuttings, and watch buds grow on trees.

This feeling of newness is permeating our psyches, as well.  After a full year of “Stay at Home” orders being in place, we are finally seeing restrictions loosen up.  The general public is starting to become vaccinated against the Coronavirus.  While in some states, in-restaurant dining has been happening for a while, other areas are only now getting back to al fresco dining.  But what a perfect time to eat outdoors! 

Schools are starting to open up to in-person classes in a limited capacity.  IEA held our first physically distanced, small class-size, in-person class this Spring and have added several in-person class offerings to the Summer Academy schedule!

I attended a virtual CABI fashion show recently and Personal Wardrobe Stylist, Missy Gibson shared the concept of “Optimistic Dressing.” She indicated that the nation is experiencing “Sweatsuit Fatigue” (a term coined by the Wall Street Journal) and that we are wanting comfortable, casual clothing that doesn’t make us feel stuck, but rather helps us think positively, bursts of color, patterns that excite us, and styles that speak about going places and accomplishing things.

In the financial world, the trend is towards Optimistic Forecasting – projecting optimistic, yet realistic numbers for 2021.  What we learned from the past year is that the key to survival and even success is being able to adapt quickly to changing environments, and that pulling on the strengths and data of the whole team is what allows this flexibility.  With this in mind, we are able to project multiple financial scenarios with positive outcomes and alternative game plans for achieving those goals.

Will people become more confident in their spending as they start to feel safer and more inoculated against illness?  After a tightening of the purse-strings and an inability to go out, will we rebel and splurge on all the things we felt we were missing out on, like sporting events, concerts, game nights and backyard BBQs?  Will we dip our toes into learning new subjects, keeping our minds engaged as things “return to normal?” After a year of being without access to gyms, will people embrace discipline and get back on a routine of fitness classes and workouts, or maybe even begin a new routine of whole body-mind selfcare?

People are choosing to focus on potential, rather than loss.  The necessary down-time of having to stay at home gave us the time to learn and reset values for ourselves.  What will we do with this reflection and new horizon?  Only time will tell.

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