Optimism is The New Courage.

The bad news is unremitting—housing prices are plummeting, consumer confidence is dropping, unemployment is soaring, the financial system is breaking down. It appears that the world as we knew it is ending—and so it is. But Diego Rodriguez at Metacool reminds me—and all of us—that designing a new world will require a number of things, starting with optimism.

So I am going to stop being so gloomy and follow Diego’s advice. I fact, I am going to take Travis Pastrana’s advice. Here are lessons learned on designing for the future from Travis and Diego: 1) Optimism grounded in reality is the key. Understand the verities and take realistic risks. Without optimism and risk-taking, there is no hope of designing a recovery.

2) Plan and reduce the secondary risks so you can make the big ones. Do that extra research, that fifth prototype.

3) Save your cash for the important stuff. Surviving is “expensive” in this environment. Cash is lifeblood.

4) Landing determines prosperity. After survival comes—-what? Landing your career, company, nation in a position to do well in the future. Watch that landing while you’re surviving.

5) Dress for success. Put optimistic “clothing” on yourself and your brand (often the same thing but not always). Look good, even if you’re quaking.

Thanks for the survival tips Diego. So, what are you wearing today?

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