“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty “
– Winston Churchill
An optimist, when faced with a problem, tends to find the upside to the situation and starts figuring out ways to solve that problem or ways to turn it around. A pessimist, however, immediately throws up his hands, and yells, “That’s it; it’s all over. I can’t handle this anymore.” Or he will distance himself from the problem, pretending it doesn’t matter. This is denial, and it never works.
According to the world's foremost expert on optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman, everyone is born optimistic. And yet, 95% of grownups are pessimists, not optimists. What goes wrong? Some people see the glass as half empty. Others see it as half full. But is it really as simple as that? Is it possible to be a bit of both?
When you think about it, most people tend to be an optimist sometimes and a pessimist other times. Ironically, a lot of times things turn out according to how we feel about the situation. If a person feels like something will go well or feels optimistic about it, it usually seems to go well. The same is true of the reverse. When someone feels like something will go badly, it tends to do just that.
An indication that you are dealing with a pessimist is in a simple phrase they will use in stressful situations - “I can’t”. The pessimist is helpless, powerless and it shows in his response. The optimist responds with - “I won’t”. The optimist is making a conscious choice, not just reacting.
An optimist prefers to think more positively. They focus on what they really want, not what might happen to them.
Think about the following statements:
* Optimists achieve their goals because they never give up
* Optimists attract Success naturally
* Optimists are happier, healthier, and more energetic than pessimists
* Optimists are easier to be around, inspiring people around to be positive
* Optimists live longer and suffer from fewer and less severe diseases
* Besides the above, optimists lead a higher quality of life.
These are all probably true just by the fact that optimists’ positive thinking makes challenging situations “not that bad” after all.
Now true optimism is not sitting back, thinking positive thoughts, and hoping everything will turn out all right. It’s how you see the world, positively rather than negatively. You face each situation, each problem, and each occasion with a positive attitude; and you always look forward to the “benefits” you will derive from it. You have a choice. “Change your thoughts and change your world,” said Norman Vincent Peale. What it comes down to is that your attitude is a conscious choice. If you choose pessimism, you’re choosing to see the downside of every situation, judge people unfairly, and live unhappily the rest of your life. What an oppressive existence!
On the other hand, if you choose optimism, you’re empowering yourself to see the positive side of each challenge, seeing the good in people, helping them to see the good in life too. Taking action to further improve your own life, and living happily with friends and family who care about you. Attracting all good to yourself. Choosing to be more optimistic and positive does not mean you won’t encounter difficult times, trauma, loss and many challenges. What it does mean is that you will have more power on your side to help you through those tough times. You’ll bounce back faster and make better, rather than letting life just wash over you. You’ll learn to be proactive, instead of reactive.
If you’re not naturally optimistic and positive, don’t worry. You can learn how to use your thoughts to change your attitude and emotions. It won’t be easy. Some days will be very challenging, but you can do it. Improving your optimism rates is one of the most important actions you can take to improve your life. It doesn't come automatically, though. It takes effort. It takes deliberate, conscious awareness of your thoughts and feelings. And then acting on that awareness.
Each time you think of a negative thought, stop right there and turn it around to find the positive aspect of the situation. Do this each time and build on it. It will become a habit to be positive and upbeat about your life.
Here’s one starting point:
Practice your ‘positive thinking’ and your ‘positive feeling’. Give yourself permission to think new thoughts and feel new feelings.
You can be as optimistic as you want that you will attract wealth, for that new car or new house. The productive action helps to push things to that end, and you will get there.
So I would say to you: Be Optimistic! Expect the best out of life! Just Think and Act Optimistically.
Burn the Ships
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate any escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling than going back.
When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.
Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn't necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don't be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.
Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don't have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.
Close off the escape routes and make sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies, and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can't eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don't just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.
Connecting With Your Higher Self
When you want to listen to a particular radio station, you tune your radio to that station, tuning in to a particular frequency. Same when you want to watch a particular show on TV. It is the frequency you tune into that determines what you hear and what you see.
Our brains operate in very much the same way, except that we have only two stations we can tune into - the ego station and the higher-self station.
The ego station is the station that originates in the programmed mind, which contains all our limiting beliefs that create our fears. The ego station is our wounded self, our false self - the protected self we learned to be as we were growing up and needed to find ways to have control over getting love, avoiding pain, and feeling safe. Our ego wounded self is a closed circuit - it operates on old information that we acquired as we were growing up, information that is no longer relevant or even true. It is not open to new information. It is not open to truth.
The higher-self station is the station that taps into the unlimited information from the universe - information that is beyond the programmed mind. The higher-self station taps into the Source of truth that is always here to guide us in our highest good.
How do you tune your frequency to your higher-self station?
We have all been given a "dial" that either tunes us to the low frequency of our ego station, or to the high frequency of our higher-self station. This dial is our INTENT.
We have only two intents to choose from:
1. The intent to get love and avoid pain with some form of controlling behavior
2. The intent to learn about loving ourselves and others
The intent to have control over getting love and avoiding pain lowers our frequency and keeps us stuck in our limited mind - our ego-mind. When we choose this intent/frequency, we are stuck thinking the thoughts - the lies - and taking the unloving actions that create fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, stress, anger, jealousy, resentment, and so on. The ego frequency is the frequency of being a victim. We choose this frequency when we choose the intent to have control over getting love and avoiding pain.
At any moment, we can change our minds and choose the intent to learn - about what is in our highest good and the highest of all. We can choose to learn about our ego mind rather than stay stuck in it. The moment we choose the intent to learn about love, we raise our frequency and are able to access the higher-self station. This is like moving out of the limitations of our personal computer and into the Internet - only better. While some of the information on the Internet is true and some is not, all of the information we receive from the higher-self station is true - it comes from the Source of Truth.
The only thing that stops us from choosing the higher-self station is our addiction to control. The ego-mind wants control over our feelings, over others' feelings and actions, and over the outcome of things. When your desire for control is greater than your desire to be loving to yourself and others, and greater than your desire to live in truth, you will remain stuck in the ego station.
The ego station tells us that we can have control over things that we actually have no control over - others and outcomes. While we can have some control over our feelings with various addictions, this only leads to greater unhappiness. Our feelings are an inner guidance system, letting us know when we are on track or off track in our thinking and behavior, so suppressing them with addictions only leadsego-mind to more pain.
You will discover great joy when you choose the intent to learn about loving yourself and others and access the incredible information that is yours when you are tuned into your higher-self station.