An Indian view of the Australian “Habits of an Optimist” free course

With Avinash Kshirsagar travelling in the Himalayas on my last trip to India

Yesterday was Mental Health Day – but really, it should be every day of the year. Many have found that good mental health and an optimistic outlook go together and there is a wonderful course suitable for all ages and FREE from the Centre for Optimism.

This has been reviewed by my friend Avinash Kshirsagar – a young Indian from Maharashtra state who is completing his accountancy qualifications. We met while travelling in the Himalayas and I joined him on his daily quest to find great cafes for lunch. Here is his review:

“Steve and I have had several discussions on optimism particularly a blend between optimism and realism.

We’ve shared our thoughts as well on this.

I’m very thankful to Steve that he shared with me a course on Project Optimism.

This course is all what one needs to do to be an optimist. Lots of takeaways on being positive and spreading optimism. I have highlighted the points that I particularly found were best inputs;

•             Smile like an optimist. The importance of smiling and how the optimist does it. It shared a quote by Charlie Chaplin “You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down.”

•             Habits of an optimist highlighted the importance of habits, and I could totally relate it to the book I’m currently reading by James Clear named “Atomic Habits.”

•             Another important aspect that was largely emphasised was Social media and being optimistic. The relationship between the two and impact of procrastination leading to a low key on positivity was very well illustrated.

•             The impact of asking oneself “What make you optimistic” ona regular basic or giving affirmations to check whether one is optimistic is relatable because I personally practice giving myself such affirmations. But this course doesn’t stop here. It teaches one to ask each other these questions so that the environment is healthy too. Imagine implementing the same in small groups. It will do wonders and promote mental health as well. This is spread optimism through optimism.

•             Optimism and success are very well connected. I would say that they complement one another. Would be of great help to those working in the corporates to check on this.

Each chapter had a questionnaire on how does one practice optimism in real life. The questions were really easy at first but didn’t seem as easy when I had to pen down the answers. They were very basic but made me press upon a lot to see where I stand. Totally worth it.

The chapters don’t have written context. It is more through video illustrations showing animated figures so that one won’t feel monotonous. Also, after each chapter they have added points through different research papers and other references. This would be of help to those who want to read more on it.

This course is a gift. It’s free of cost.

I have totally found this course worth the time and would recommend it to those who want to know what optimism is how can one practice being optimistic.

It’s not a choice. It’s a way to acceptance and leading an positive life in a realistic manner.


Avinash Kshirsagar

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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