A Little Optimism Goes a Long Way

Bruce and I were competing in a musical talent contest. He had a band, and I was a solo guitarist performance. Bruce’s band won the contest, I was proud of him, but disappointed that I did not win. I could have just quit playing guitar and thrown in the towel (which crossed my mind) but I decided to carry on. As confirmation of my refusal to give up, I was approached to teach guitar at school, which I did.

I could have chosen to quit, but instead decided to commit to keep going forward, and received reward for my decision to do so.

Later in life, Bruce and I played in a band together for a while, until our lives took different paths. We’re still acquainted, thanks to Facebook. Good times.

When faced with any quandary, generally there are at least two vantage points to approach any situation from; either the perspective of the pessimist or the optimist.

In general, if you can approach life from the perspective of the optimist, there’s a far greater chance that you will more easily live a better life, potentially your best life, and maybe even desire to contribute to the greater good and make the world a better place.

Why might you want to look at the bright side of life often, if not all ways?

There are many benefits from having your default setting set at “Optimistic,” such as reduced stress, lower blood pressure, more often in a good mood, and have a heightened level of performance in any endeavors with more ease than your pessimistic peers who will find themselves working harder to keep up. (Just saying.)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but optimists are now being overrun by pessimists as their numbers begin to grow. If you are basically optimistic (not 100% of the time but more often than not) then you are definitely in the minority.

And who could blame anyone in this day and age for being unable to see the bright side of anything? What with having to put up with a constant barrage of negative media pounding you down every day, and that’s completely separate from the attitudes of others who just fail to have compassion or the willingness to create a real connection with others.

In general, our relationships suck, and no one is too terribly surprised when they find themselves stabbed in the back by someone, they thought they could trust. Integrity is just not fashionable anymore. Then there’s disrespect, abuse, broken dreams, and promises. If all that doesn’t beat the optimist out of you, it’s a miracle.

This pessimism promotes depression exponentially, and it affecting us at earlier and earlier ages. It wasn’t that long ago that adult onset depression would commonly develop in adults in their thirties. Now our children are suffering from depression more predominantly at about age fifteen.

Pessimism, it’s associated depression, drama, and trauma is causing our culture to erode.

A little optimism goes a long way in living a better life, your best life, and filling your life with such an exuberant quality of life, you may very well be inclined to want to make a positive contribution to your family, friends, the community, or even the world at large.

Why? Because you “feel good,” and that good feeling is contagious and makes you want to give it to others.

As much as you wish you could give the gift of looking at the bright side, or the blessing in any given situation (even the really bad ones), it’s generally not possible because pessimists just think you’re cazy and living in a fantasy world.

But for those who have chosen to make the transition from pessimist to optimist (and it happens), their lives have changed dramatically (even if their peers do think they are a little whacko).

What can you expect as am optimistic individual?

Well, first off, you have a general expectation that good things are always happening; and so, they do. Onlooking pessimists will observe the happy go lucky optimist encounter tragedy, to find them coming out of a potentially crippling episode in life with little more than a scratch, smelling like a rose.

The pessimist might just think that the optimist was lucky (or might secretly be hoping that they suffer appropriately the next time they encounter hardship). When the truth is, the optimist created the outcome from their own positive thoughts.

The same is true for the pessimist, as his or her thoughts determine the outcome of the challenges they face in life. If they have a generally negative vibration or thought process, this spins every potential scenario in a negative direction, even the good things in life tend to go haywire, and that deepens their depression, as they seek solace in withdrawal from society so as to protect themselves from further risk of more bad news.

Once kicked off the horse, an optimist is more likely to get right back on, knowing that the worst is over, and it can get better, while the pessimist will vow to never look at another horse again.

Rather than accept the role of “victim” by admitting defeat, an optimist will look for the lesson, the hidden secret, the blessing of any negative situation, and see a divine, sacred synergy in all things, and be grateful for the experience. They are far less likely to give up.

If you are of the optimistic persuasion, you celebrate the wins of others, you encourage and edify them. There’s no underlying jealousy, or one-upmanship going on behind the scenes, you really do like to see others shine and enjoy sharing these moments with others. Pessimists are more likely to “have an angle” and feel as though they must control or manipulate situations or others to get ahead.

Unsupported optimists don’t need the feedback from others to make them feel good, they find their good feelings within their own center of gravity.

Fortitude and stick-to-itiveness are attributes you find showing up in optimists as they encounter challenges in life. They have an increased stamina by wielding their own economy of energy, exerting only the amount of force necessary to keep enough momentum to carry them from here to there.

Stress is the battleground of the pessimist, while the optimist has more of a tendency to go with the flow, using the current to their advantage. Pessimists are more likely to struggle and fight against the current.

Good health, a more youthful appearance, attitude, and longevity are the rewards of an optimistic lifestyle. Being in a state of happiness or gratitude boosts one’s immune system, while fear, anxiety, frustration, suspicion, paranoia, jealousy, hurt feelings, and a vengeful heart deplete one’s immune system.

Maybe you might like to join the ranks of the optimists?

Or not.

No one would blame you for not wanting to.

Just know this: You are love, and there is far more goodness waiting to come to you.


Power of Complaining

Ever know someone who appears to be constantly complaining about everything, the state of the world, being surrounded by evil or stupid people, and of course their constantly being victimized?

A pessimistic chronic complainer, like that, might be off-putting, especially to the optimist. The optimist might see the individual fueled by constant whining and complaining as an ever present drain on their own personal energy reserves. It can be frustrating maintaining an effective level of communication between individuals on opposite ends of the spectrum.

power of complaining pessimistic whining complaint take action

When team-building, I always like to have a chronic complainer on-board, someone who sees problems everywhere they look, even in the best of circumstances, they will offer up a “what if” that could lead to an outcome of apocalyptic proportions. Some might consider this pessimistic influence a non-constructive waste of time, but I think to assume there is little value in looking at anything from a different perspective as folly.

Those who fail to see the value of the complainer may also fail to see the value in the complaint. For is it not true that

Every technological and sociological advancement is the result of complaining

Of course it is not simply enough to complain, for complaining – and continuing to complain – about something exemplifies powerlessness, but to complain, then as quickly as possible find ways to counteract the issue at hand with a definitive action, this person has evolved as the pessimist activist.

The pessimist activist complains about the state of a thing or circumstance and goes about taking action fueled by their angst in the hopes of having some impact on the situation.

Unlike the optimist who focuses on the happy, joyful outcome of a particular situation or circumstance from an, “if only” perspective, the pessimist approaches the same conundrum from the, “what if,” perspective and the pessimist activist takes action based on their desire to prevent a worst case scenario.

And both of them are right

There is not one that is more right than the other, it is what it is, and the teaming of these individuals in a yin/yang approach to tackling any obstacle, problem-solving or visionary project is priceless.

As for the complainer who refuses to take action, they tend to find themselves depleting their own energy reserves and often find themselves battling depression and persistent health concerns. But it doesn’t take much to counteract the effects of complaining by (as quickly as possible) integrating some level of activity to augment the otherwise negative outlook.

For instance, if one asserts, “There is no happiness in my life,” taking the action of creating a little happiness based on the complaint and – voila – you’re on your way to empowering your power of complaining. An example might be to go to a comedy show, call or visit a young relative who looks up to you, take your dog for a walk, buy a new outfit (or shoes), take a hike or walk on the beach… or whatever makes you feel happy. To not do so, only creates a sense of helplessness.

If you’re particularly focused on some other person’s lack of intelligence or propensity for causing dangerous circumstances, taking action on your complaint is better than not doing anything. You could offer a productivity tool as a gift, file a formal complaint or study to teach a class or write a report/book that might be helpful for others dealing with similar people.

If you feel an urge to constantly complain about the state of the world, then exchange your, “what if,” which normally leads to a worst case conclusion, to “what if I could do something about it?” And the something you could do need not be of worldwide significance to have an impact. You could simply post your observation(s) on social media, call into a talk radio program or write a letter to the editor. Your action (though minute in comparison to your concern) may be helpful in making others aware of the potential disaster and may help the idea reach critical mass, which always has – and always will – lead to change.

I extend my sincere gratitude for all the empowered complainers who help to make the world a better place.

Keep complaining

(and do something about it)