Monday, December 12, 2011
Choose optimism is my first Happiness Commandment and here's why. If I start letting myself be negative about the present or future it tends to grow into unhappiness quickly. I'm not trying to channel Pollyana, but I am trying to assume that things will work out and then take the actions I can to help it happen. I do try to get clear first on whether there is any point in trying to take action. Do I have control or influence over the situation or desired outcome? If not, then I need to spend my time elsewhere or look to controlling my reaction to it.
This approach is easy for my at the beginning of most days as I am lucky to wake up cheerful and looking forward to the day. Even when I don't feel well or things are not going well my morning mindset is that today probably will be better than yesterday. The challenge is to sustain this feeling and mindset as the day moves forward!
Some of my other commandments help me out here and I need to really keep them in the forefront of my mind. No complaining - Savor the present - Take action - Work within the life I have right now - Use my creativity.
What does optimism do for a person? It makes you more resilient. You feel that you can handle what comes your way by problem solving, learning, taking action. It helps your health by reducing the stress that you body experiences. It helps your relationships because you do not drive people away with your negativity. It helps you see difficulties as temporary and solvable.
Optimism can be increased because it is a result of you mind-set or self-talk. Your thought patterns are optimistic or pessimistic and they drive your perception of yourself and your situation. Changing thought patterns takes hard work but can be done! I choose optimism and believe the effort it takes is definitely worth it.
So I agree with Winston Churchill who said "An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity." and "For myself, I am an optimist--it does not seem to be much use being anything else."