"You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking."
~ Maya Angelou

May 24, 2013

Cautiously Optimistic

by Daniel Jacob, MSW: Founder of Can You Hear Me?

As I find myself entering into a period of opportunity I was offered these words, Cautiously Optimistic.  Kind of sounds like this wise soul who offered this explanation was offering me some needed guidance while producing some reflection on my part.  Optimism is part of my DNA so to speak and putting conditions on this is not something that I find myself being familiar with.  The way I see it, when we are cautious we tend to hold back, not quite sure of what awaits, perhaps trying to figure something out that is just not meant to be.  I ask myself why are you being cautious?  What are you concerned about?  This tends to be the questioning associated when we may not be prepared for the answer.  When we are not sure if what awaits is something we truly want.  However,  I am interpreting this as setting one up for failure before you have even left the gate.  So, now that I have had the opportunity to hear my words speak for what they are, I am challenging myself to correct this mindset by telling myself that you have to let it be, just be present and allow what is meant to be, to be...

You see, I found myself answering my own self doubts. I allowed someone else to help me hear not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.  The answers are really right in front of us, we may need some guidance or assistance from time to time so that we are able to embrace it so that we can continue to receive opportunity, no matter the what, when, or how it arrives. I will work on not being cautiously optimistic and instead I will just be optimistic, with no other conditions.  May this find you well, and as always may you continue to learn from yesterday, so that you can live in today!  

 About Author

Daniel Jacob, MSW Email 
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.  
More about the man behind the mission ⇢


  1. Hi, Daniel --

    As somebody who also has optimism in my DNA, I really liked this line: "The way I see it, when we are cautious we tend to hold back..." I agree. If you have something you're going to do, when you commit to it fully, you truly unleash yourself and let yourself accomplish great things. Embrace optimism. All the biggest victories in my life have been when went all-in.

    Anyway, great post, and important! Social workers need to nourish optimism (maybe there should be a class for that...)

  2. Thank You Matt for taking the time to hear the words, while supporting the message! The opportunities are endless when we put ourselves in the arena. By the way, I think your blog and its platform is a wonderful way to educate (and advocate) about the various ways one could serve within a career in social work. May your efforts continue to strengthen that passion you bring and represent!

    I'll keep a look out for the class you've mentioned, although I hope a part of my efforts are facilitating the learning one could receive from such :-).

    May this find you well!