Before anything else, let me make my confession first: I am a converted pessimist. Yes, been there, seen that.
You calculate the situations, you run through it in your mind and immediately pin-point the weakest link, you know, the toughest part. And you know it’s gonna turn out bad. It seems people around you just can’t see the obvious, that’s why they need your realistic expertise. You spend time modelling it in your head and you can see why that particular idea wont work, or why this plan is a no go. Sounds familiar?
Now, to bang the final nail into a pessimist head, here is some stats that optimists are healthier and live longer.
Recent study: A 2012 Harvard School of Public Health study found that optimistic individuals had up to 50% less risk of having a first heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event than their less optimistic peers.
No, they are not born that way. They are not those permanently happy sanguine types filled with endorphins up to the neck. They have the same body as yours. As Bottom Line Secrets puts it, “To some extent, that’s true—a person’s brain tends to be wired either toward optimism or pessimism. But these tendencies are reinforced by mental habits.”
In the words of Dyan Diamond, when something good happens to a pessimist, they often feel that it is somewhat random and it will not last. When something less than loving happens to a pessimist, they often feel that it will last forever and that is just how life is.
When something less than loving happens to an optimist, they see it as simply a temporary thing. They may see it as just a small part of life, just a little hiccup. They will not take it personally. They understand that it will not last forever.
How you think is up to you. It’s you who decide to choose optimism or pessimism.
Optimism is not something emotional. It’s a very practical tool, a mind set. It’s like a morning workout, an exercise. It took you years to train your brain to look at the problems, now start training it to look at the opportunities. It takes time, but as they say, practice makes perfect.
Be grateful for your life, your gifts, and other people.
Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
See bad things as a blessing in disguise.
See failure as a stepping stone to success.
I’ve personally noticed that being grateful is one of the key things on the way to change your mindset. I started doing it every night before going to sleep. Lay down, close my eyes and walk myself through the situations, things and people that I want to say my thank you to.
It starts with appreciation of things that you have, but it goes farther. You start realising that you have this much of energy and this much time allotted to you in your life. You have certain skills that no one else has. You are here and now for a reason. Now find your goal that your guts are telling you is something worth living, and then every your move will find it’s right timing, every person you meet you’ll see as a teacher, every mistake would be a lesson that gives you the opportunity to do one more step up – closer to you goal. Now that is what I call Optimism.
About the Author: Maxim Varfolomeyev (Syam Gopal Das) is a filmmaker, a life hacker, techno nerd and spiritual seeker with life-long love for mountains and music.[ optimism ]