If there’s anything unifying about humanity’s existence, its our solitary pursuit of happiness. Its the way in which we choose to define our successes and identify our failures. Its how we contemplate on how well we’ve spent our lives. Its our unbridled hope for our future – that things will be better than how they’ve been so far.
Here’s more proof on how humans are good naturedly positive.
How do we know that Optimism exists?
Oprah Winfrey, an inspiring thought leader, talks about what she calls Sunrise faith. Its the hope that the sun will rise tomorrow. Its the strong belief of optimism that tomorrow will be a brighter and better day. And its us telling ourselves that we will survive today.
Whether or not anyone has spotted the Big Foot yet, we’ve all at some point experienced an unexpected kind word. A few lucky ones have even had the chance to see people with extreme challenges live productive lives without complaining or feeling self pity for themselves. And a few of the most luckiest ones among us have even experienced the radical and life changing love and nurture of caring, responsive and attentive parents.
How to develop a positivity mindset?
First lets understand the pit falls.
We all carry with us misgivings about a project we have in mind. We worry if we will ever achieve what we want to. Most of us are also constantly judging ourselves about the way we look.
But, we often forget that these are aspects of our lives that we don’t have any control over. We don’t have control over how things will work out in the end except for trying to make the best decisions along the way. Also, one big thing. We don’t have a choice over how we look.
Instead of channeling our energies on all that’s wrong with ourselves and the world, we can focus on all the things that seem to be working well. There’s a lot of good happening in the world. Not all of it makes it into the news.
We can focus on our skills and accomplishments to tell ourselves great stories. We can change our own narrative about ourselves. We are holding the key to our own happiness.
For victims of abuse, neglect and disabilities, this stuff might seem like fluff. But hang on with me for one more argument. Think of yourself in the present moment. You’re alive and well. Let that courage dawn on you.
Remember that we can all make sense of our lives connecting the dots backwards. Whatever has happened to us so far has taught us invaluable lessons and has made us stronger. What’s better? While learning how you would like to be treated, you’ve also learnt how not to treat others.
How to cheer oneself up?
Find yourself sad from time to time? Try thinking of your loved ones. Try thinking of a stranger’s kindness in your life. Trying doing more to change someone else’s life today. Give.
In the end optimism is a learned trait. Something’s telling you how you’re doing on the optimism scale at any given moment. That voice is the voice of your own thoughts. You own those feelings.
Still not able to lift yourself up?
Look, life’s short.
Try contemplating its finiteness and the eventual mortality that will arrive. And a little Optimism bias hasn’t hurt anyone. What’s that? The idea that bad things cannot happen to us. Its trusting that everyone around you at any given point is doing their best.
A very big trigger of grief is comparison. Comparisons lead to expectation gaps. Why should anyone do anything for you? Its time to realize our inherent power of autonomy. We’ve all started this life’s journey empty handed. We were all meant to be self reliant to meet own personal needs.
Some things like opportunities, circumstances and end results are usually out of our control. What we can control however is our ability to constantly course correct when bad things happen. What we can control is how we choose to never lose the resolve to move on. In short, a “can-do” attitude is everything for positively charging your life.
Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology says that we go into victim mode after a personal tragedy. Here’s how:
a. We PERSONALIZE it, even though we are not necessarily to blame for it.
b. It’s PERVASIVE in all areas of our life, and we can’t not think of it all the time.
c. And we feel it’s PERMANENT, although nothing in life really is.
How can we generate Optimism?
Imagine if we were building a career with a single minded goal. We might feel productive at the end of the day but our uni-dimensional life will not be fun at all. Without incorporating leisure and creativity and pursuing what we enjoy, and creating a well rounded life, we will not be truly happy.
That’s where we can leverage the power of connection. By connecting with others, we can share our gifts and positively change their lives. We can share our predicaments and our sorrows and feel better. Connection to our fellow living beings, humans and animals, brings meaning and purpose into our lives. It impacts us and enables us to contribute to higher goals. We become capable of spreading hope, love and happiness all around. Imagine, if each and everyone of us was doing that, what it would do to our world’s collective happiness index?
Is there anything like being overtly optimistic?
Being overtly optimistic is usually mistaken for naivety, and in the worst case, for arrogance.
Then, there are some super positive people who believe in procrastination so much that they might be indulging themselves with the thought that they will live forever. Some even more optimistic people stop working, because they follow people on Instagram who seem to have won a 10 million dollar lottery. So, they choose sit and dream passively.
And lets talk about what teenagers are most accused of doing. Being foolishly optimistic. This happens because they can’t seem to foresee the implications of their behaviors and actions. What could be more terrifying for parents than having kids with an impulsive risk taking attitude towards life? Having a clear understanding of consequences helps us to determine our choices and decisions.
Are there any benefits to being Optimistic?
People who choose to construct an optimistic approach around themselves tend to be happy. They feel hopeful about the future and for overall humanity. They, in turn, take care of themselves and the wellbeing of others around them.
So, what’re you waiting for? Smile, give and thrive.