Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. William James
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill
We can either lean toward optimism or pessimism. Which one should we choose? Everything being equal, optimism is the better choice. Life will have more to offer and will be more meaningful and joyful. The choice should be obvious.
We have been programmed as a natural tendency to be one or the other. All that has ever happened to us, all our upbringing, and even our genes have something to do with whether we look for the good or the bad in life. We are ‘wired’ to predominantly either expect the best or to expect the worst. Wise people throughout the ages tell us that life goes the way we expect it to. If we expect bad things or if we expect good things, we will get what we expected or ask for. If this has any truth in it, why would a rational and intelligent person choose pessimism over optimism; or misery over happiness? Why do we expect so little from life? Why are there so few optimists? The answer lies in our ‘programming’.
It is not easy to be optimistic. It is much easier to be pessimistic. The reason is that we live in a negative world. Negativism, pessimism, complaining, fear and doubt ‘rule’ the world. If we are going to go with the flow, then we will fall right in with the world of pessimism. If we want to be an optimistic we have to work hard at it; we have to go against the grain. We have to be the fish that swims upstream while all the others choose to swim downstream. It requires much less effort to swim downstream. If it were easier to swim upstream, everyone would do it.
Throughout life we have been programmed with negatives, ‘no’s, “cant’s”, fear of failure, and a myriad of different reasons why we should have low expectations. Before we became adults, we heard many more ‘no’s than “yes’s” from parents and other adults. The same things continue during our adult lives. All this is part of our negative programming.
The good news is that we can choose to reject the negative and replace it with a positive outlook. It is not easy; it takes dedication, perseverance and self discipline. Life rewards us based on what we want from it, if we want more we must expect more. An optimistic outlook is one step toward getting more.
Challenge: Is your disposition negative or positive? Do you look for good or bad? Do you expect good results or bad results? You can choose optimism over pessimism. It will change your life. Be more aware of what your subconscious mind is thinking. Intercept negative thoughts, opinions, and reasoning that support negative outlooks. Replace negatives with positives. This is changing your programming, Stick with it. Do not give up.
Wisdom: If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought. Peace Pilgrim
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5, 6
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
If we understood how much God loves us, we would have a hard time being pessimistic. If we understood how great God is and how much he wants us to understand and succeed at life, we would try so much harder. If we understood that once the Holy Spirit is guiding and directing our lives, there is no way for us to fail. Then we would start raising our expectations. We would expect more from life and would start receiving what we expect.
Prayer: Help me to have high expectations and strong faith, and help me to be all that I can be.