Here's a practical tool for the skeptic or cynic in all of us: the 24x3 rule. The next time you hear an idea for the first time, or meet someone new, try to wait 24 seconds before saying or thinking something negative. This reinforces a foundational skill of good optimists and good leadership. That basic skill is listening. As you gain the ability to listen and pause for a brief 24 seconds before letting the critic in you bubble to the verbal surface, move to the next level and try to do it for 24 minutes. At 24 minutes, you are able to give more considered thought to the idea and think more carefully of the many reasons why it might actually work, why it might be better than what is out there, and why it might just topple conventional wisdom.
And yes, you should also work towards the ability to wait 24 hours — one single day — before pondering or verbalizing the cons against somethingLearning Optimism with the 24x3 Rule