I keep hearing people talk about how surprised they are that the Phillies are enjoyable to watch this year.

They are surprised that the team is actually good.

I don’t get it. Why is everyone SO surprised?

Okay, before all the sports pros jump on me, roll their eyes and start sharing the stats and all the reasons why we should count on a bad season, please let me say this: yes, I know the facts.

But, I choose to be hopeful for a fun, enjoyable season. Why? Because I realize we have a young team, which means it’s a team with plenty of room to grow and become better. In fact, I think the Philadelphia Phillies can teach all of us a wonderful lesson about being hopeful, about the importance of being optimistic and patient.

There is hope for this team which means: we get to choose how we want to approach the season.

You decide.

Do you want to be optimistic and hopeful? Or do you want to be pessimistic about the season?

You decide.

Hope is always a choice in all situations – in sports and in life.

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend. She said, “That’s it. I have nothing left.” My response was, “There is always hope. Never stop believing.”

We are all faced with times when we believe we have no hope left.

This is where a change in our perspective is key.

So, how do we change our perspective when we believe there is no hope?

In my books I refer to the actionable steps I take to create positive change in my life as the 4-Step Bounce Back Plan. Step One is to recognize that you want something to change. Meaning, to realize that it’s not just a bad day you’re having, but that something needs to change in order for you to be happy.

Step Two is to get clarity by identifying what that something is that is causing you to be unhappy. Simply ask yourself – where is my dissatisfaction coming from? What do I want to change?

Next, in Step Three, you need to create a vision of yourself and your situation–that is, what do you want your life to look like? We all need to have a vision for our life and all situations that we experience.

Now that you know what you want, you can move on to Step Four and take one action today that will get you started toward your goal.

For the Philly fans, we can choose to change our perspective so that we think and speak positively about our team and young players. We can choose to cheer the young team on, sit back, relax and watch the Phillies.

I do believe that one day, sooner than later, we will be a playoff contender again. When that happens I will remember watching them through my optimistic eyes because when I watch them this season, I will choose to remain hopeful for a World Series parade again in my lifetime!

We all need to remind ourselves to be patient with this young team, to remain hopeful and optimistic. And that is really a lesson and reminder for all of us. Because we also need to remember to be patient with ourselves and others. Making change is a step-by-step process with the first step often being learning to speak positively about yourself.  It doesn’t always come naturally—and it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of practice. I know, I continue to practice it daily.

I chose to be optimistic. It’s a choice. And I choose not to live without it. If you are in a situation that is not making you happy, think about your vision for the future and one actionable step you can take today towards making the change!

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies