Optimism

St. Johns Bridge photographed by Martin Santos

Why choose optimism? 

It is an instant reflex these days for most of us to snatch the negative out of any situation, circumstance, condition or relationship.

The movement to avoid pain and gain pleasure is a systematic function of the brain. 

For centuries, man has been conditioned and evolved into the pain-pleasure principle.

The word optimism, is a mid -18th century French and Latin term meaning, “best thing.” It is the hopefulness and confidence about the successful outcome of something. It is also defined as a philosophical doctrine of “the best of both worlds.”

The opposite world is negativity.

A unity or balance must be established to form an equilibrium in the mind.

Relationships are constantly testing this harmonious dance of negative (pessimism) or positive (optimism). Think about how psychology and spirituality is bridged by relationships?

How?

It’s valid to assume that not all circumstances can be viewed with optimism.  As the Buddha exclaimed 5,000 years ago, “life is suffering.” 

With an established understanding, it is fair to be cautiously pessimistic or optimistic in our response to life. Yet a clearer awareness can be attained.

Optimism is primarily focused in the attitude pertaining to the present and future.  Its counterpart, skepticism, values the present and harkens back to the past for its reference to act.

It is a critical distinction to say both of these states of being, or attitude are both a call for action.

Action is not only movement or accomplishing a task at hand.  Many times no-action or patience (waiting) is more impactful and a driving force for change. 

Maybe our thoughts for optimism are an opportunity to transcend and reach higher levels of enlightenment?

Emotions

Our emotions can rule our thinking.  Pain can subdue our attitude.  Man has been given the ultimate freedom of will to choose.  

What questions are immediately raised in the mind? Sadness or gladness? Anger or fear? Loss or gain? Opportunity or challenge?

Questions control the focus of the mind; therefore, forcing ones actions to control ones thoughts is of paramount importance. Why continually say no to life when it feels so good to say yes?

The choice, the mindset is programmed into the mind by the word.  Actions speak louder than words in most cases.

The power of the spoken or written word have swayed our emotions into chaos or peace.  The renounced importance of language in the psyche are the building blocks and foundational axioms of values and beliefs.

Values, principles, beliefs determine the lens in which we perceive our world. Awareness, understanding, move the thought into action.

Being optimistic widens the field of perception to explore options, new questions and new possibilities. Pessimism limits the field, narrows and stagnates the process of moving ahead.

It’s interesting to note that optimism is also derived from optics. Most have heard the terminology that “optics” are important. They create a narrative which in the mind can influence behavior.

Fear is the result of pessimism.  It locks or paralyzes the mind into a form of spiritual death.  Yes, pessimism and negative thoughts are as destructive as pouring poison on the garden of the mind. 

In spite of everything is the will to meaning.  The meaning to choose optimism can propel you forward and allow you to meet obstacles or challenges with a renewed faith. 

Optimism, hope, confidence, determination are what the responsible man or woman can choose to live by. It fosters a unifying integrity that is unbendable, unshakable and indestructible.

Look for any opportunity as a blessing or a lesson.

Remember that pessimism is ultimately a choice. It is the difference between victim or victor.

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