Have you heard the story about the black dot?

Here it goes:

One day, a professor entered the classroom and announced a surprise test. Hearing this, his students got anxious and started thinking about what would come up in the test. The professor distributed the question paper, with the front side facing down. After handing over the papers to all the students, he asked them to turn the page and start the test. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions on the test paper. There was just a black dot in the centre of the page. Everyone was surprised and looked at the professor in confusion. The professor told the students:

“I want you to write a few lines about what you see on the paper.”

All the students were stupefied but since they didn’t have a choice, they started writing the answer. Once everyone was through with the test, the professor collected all the answer sheets and started reading out each answer aloud in front of the whole class. Without an exception, all the students had written about the black dot, mentioning its position, size, and so on.


After reading out all the answers, the professor addressed the students and told them:

“None of you will be graded on this test. I just wanted you to ponder over something. All of you wrote about the black dot. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. The same thing happens in our lives, too. We all have a white paper to observe and learn from, yet we always focus on the dark spots. We have so many reasons to celebrate – our parents, friends, good health, a satisfactory job, a child’s smile, the miracles we witness every day, and so on.

However, we simply limit our horizons by focusing on just the dark spots – our disappointments, our frustrations, our fears and anxieties, things that bother us, people that wronged us. In our day-to-day lives, we tend to take so many good things for granted, and focus our energy on insignificant dot-like failures and disappointments.”

Positivity is a major theme in our business for 2021. If you get caught in the media, doom and gloom can quickly take over. There are so many inspiring stories around. All you need to do is look on the bright side!

The team at Make Work Optional would like to wish you an inspiring and positive February!

Looking back; moving forward.

There’s a story about resilience that’s not often told. And that story is one of ours as a country. For despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we have learned to live in the new world and have discovered the things that are important to us. This is an article about what makes us Australians amid adversity.

The visions before you.

If you can design your future, what would it look like? We have many mechanisms that help us set our goals and plan our day but these are not often as powerful as really envisioning our future. Vision boards have been around for many years and some of the most accomplished people we know today are proof that they work. The question is: does your vision board tell your future story? Find out.

The smart spender.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to ensure that we save for a rainy day. However, becoming aware of your money mindset is an important first step towards taking control of your finances. This article discusses the saving behaviour of Australians and also answers the question: how much should you have in your savings?

The vaccine economy.

COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States are now more than 1 million per day. As this pace continues, there is hope that soon, the economy – global and otherwise – will regain its momentum. Unemployment will decrease as businesses remobilise and people will feel certain and assured that soon, the world will see the light of day again.

The indian alliance.

The bitter trade relations between Australia and China has brought India into the mix. With its projected post-pandemic economic recovery at 11%, it is poised to become the 5th largest economy in the world – an attractive prospect for Australia. But India is still an emerging economy. What will the Australian government look to do?

The royals of the web.

We’re certain that you’ve visited Google, YouTube, and Facebook. We know that you may also have visited Twitter, Wikipedia, and Instagram. These websites currently dominate the web in terms of traffic. What’s the rest? Whose the dominant player? We know that regulators have their eyes wide open. But can they stop growth? Or can we? Check these infographics.

Surviving with grace.

Here’s an inspiring start to 2021. Grace Tame became a household name and a beacon to those who have and who are quietly suffering from sexual abuse. A survivor and now an advocate, she sums up her story with the perfect motto: eat your fear. She is 2021 Australian of the Year – the first Tasmanian to be awarded such – and this is a glimpse of her story.

The MWO life.


If you haven’t already, make sure you are writing down your ideas for your new experiences ideally in the month that you are hoping that you will do them. So when it comes time to do one you have a list to choose from.

At times something may not be available, or it’s the wrong season, so a list of choices allows you to find something else to do instead without just throwing your hands up and not doing anything new.

This month, I decided to do something in my home town of Forbes since the timing didn’t work for another activity I had previously considered doing in January. I have spoken to a number of locals however sadly not many have taken the time to see our local tourist attractions such as Sculpture down the Lachlan, so I thought that I would check it out.

Thought to live by.


You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!

Dr. Seuss

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