Optimism – the spice of flavoursome life

The first step towards the solution
of any problem is optimism.
– John Baines

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Optimism, whilst not a talent or skill, is a personal attribute that can be cultivated to such an extent that it becomes a permanent characteristic in how one perceives daily life. 

Optimist is a person who has a penchant to instinctively look on the more positive side of events or circumstances and to expect some good to ensue, no matter how dire the conditions are. Optimists always believe the state they are in is the best of all possible states. In other words, they firmly subscribe to the wisdom of the ages ‘everything that happens is the only thing that could have happened, and in whatever that happens, Nature has a purposeful hand to deliver some good. Everything works out in the end, and if at first it does not appear to have worked out, then it’s not the end yet’.

Optimists don’t try to open the door that has closed, but look for a door to open somewhere else. They are gifted with the inclination to believe that they are eternally in good stead; any setback only being a parenthesis in their life. ‘Tomorrow is another day’ they say sanguinely as they cheerfully and confidently go about their daily business. The tide comes and goes. That is how the programme of life works. When the tide comes, it brings with it joy. And when the tide goes, it is time to look forward to more joy, not sulk. A failure today is not an end of all hopes, but an opportunity to learn from the mistakes and rise tomorrow to accomplish the task.

Optimism is an enabling force that reveals dimensions for viewing life in a unique way normally not visible to ordinary reactive minds. And that is why to an optimist the glass is neither half empty, nor half full; it’s just the wrong size.

It is said that optimism has magical properties which are immensely beneficial to one’s health, particularly immune system. Prevailing optimism has the effect of turning on the internal switches for bodily revival and rejuvenation – mind, body and spirit become replete with vibrancy. Then there is a sense, a knowing, that all is well. Supreme and realistic optimism is the bedrock of successful endeavours.

It deals killer blows to stress.

Here are a few traits that an optimist is identified by:

  • Never traumatised by any external events owing to total reliance on the internal guiding mechanism.
  • Sanguine – cheerfully confident and eternally hopeful without fantasising.
  • Living is a state of abundance and gratitude, never feeling deprived or succumbing to the urge to hoard.
  • Like a boiling kettle – singing even when in hot water up to its nose.
  • Viewing any loss of a possession as an opportunity to acquire a better replacement.
  • Standing tall and exemplifying qualities of a consummate leader, never accepting defeat as the end.
  • Fearless and resilient, but well composed, in the face of any and all challenges.
  • Focused on goals with a confident outlook.
  • Assertive without being aggressive.
  • Willing to forgive self and others, whilst not hesitating to say sorry for an offence caused.
  • Realistically willing to cut losses and move on.
  • Not averse to changing course if it leads to the desired outcome.
  • Attuned to the full range of emotions and accepting that good and bad moments are a natural part of life.
  • Practising mindfulness to be constructively aware of inner thoughts and emotions to avoid blind optimism.
  • Eternally giving positive affirmations to self.

An optimist creates his circumstances. He is the cause, not the effect, but has the gumption to know that he cannot control life events. However he can adapt with appropriate attitude.

Optimism, when practised daily, gathers momentum like a rolling stone and becomes impossible to stop.

Without optimism creation is impossible.

Anil Kumar, September 2015