Optimism in Human Nature

Alana Winter

Humans are beautifully innately optimistic and positive about the future. We’re wired to look forward and believe that tomorrow will be better. And we believe it now more than ever.

How do I know?

To understand what someone truly believes and values, don’t look at what they tell you. Look at how they spend their resources, their money and time. No matter what people say, that will give you an accurate reading.

I start a values discovery process with clients, not by what they tell me, but looking at their calendar and credit card statements to see what truths they reflect.

Now let’s look at how people are spending their time and money today.

We’re still in the middle of a pandemic – with no clear vision of the future. Unemployment is at a level never seen before in history. We have no idea what the future will bring. Parts of the world are making baby steps out of total lockdown. The world is nervously waiting to see what will happen. International borders are still closed and barely any passenger flights are flying. All events, conferences, cruises, family trips, festivals, are still cancelled.

And yet…

In the last few days – out of nowhere – people are starting to book travel again.

Max Levchin – cofounder of PayPal said in a call last week that it’s one of the most amazing things that he’s seen. In the last few days there’s steady growth of 10-30% week on week on travel bookings on credit cards.

Travel is an interesting spend because it requires both money and time. Travel means different things to different people. For some it’s the value of family or friendship in long overdue visits, for some it’s freedom and adventure. But for all it shows they believe they’ll be playing in hotel rooms and on vacations as soon as nine months from now.

This is an incredible projection of the world’s confidence that a vaccine or cure will have been created, the economy will have recovered, and we’ll all be okay, a short nine months from now.

That’s people demonstrating what they believe with their pocketbooks. And that level of confidence and optimism that is so innate to our nature as humans – well I love that about people.