…disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. Beverly Sills
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. Fra Giovanni Giocondo
Why do some have gloom and doom outlooks at compared to having expectations that are more positive? Some say “gloom and doom” is more realistic and appropriate. What is there about having a dark outlook that is undesirable, unhealthy and unwise? Our lives depend on our outlook.
Perhaps the number one reason that a negative or pessimistic outlook is unwise relates to the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Part of our human condition is that we are equipped in such a way that we tend to create circumstances and end results that coincide with our mental expectations. There are theories, countless articles and many books, that have examined why this may or may not be true. On one side are those who advocate that having high expectations, visualizing and imagining what we want our lives to look like, and overall expecting the best from life help to create the conditions that make these things happen. On the other side are those who expect bad things, failures and difficulties. Are “gloom and doomers” responsible for setting in motion the very conditions and circumstances that ultimately bring on the undesirable results they expect?
The “gloom and doom” crowd may well be their own worst enemies. Our lives are affected by outside, external conditions as well as how we internally think and react to everything that happens and challenges us. When we are faced with difficult and even painful conditions, the manner in which we think about them, sets in motion, what we do and how we respond or do not respond. If we expect to fail, fall down or greatly suffer, we are much more likely to experience the same bad results we expect. In effect we do little or nothing to affect outcomes in anyway other than to allow the bad conditions to have their way with us. We choose to be victims.
If we are determined to prevent or even minimize how negative conditions may affect us, we may well succeed in reducing their severity. We may not be able to turn bad things into wonderful positives, but we may be able to turn the lemons we were facing into drinkable lemon aide. How we think and respond to what confronts us has much to do with what happens to us. We may not be able to prevent bad things from happening, but our attitude toward them has much to do with how bad the results may be.
Challenge: The overall approach you have developed to the expectations you have of life has so much to do with the quality and nature of your life. Your expectations tend to lean toward negative or pessimistic, doubtful or hopeful. Expectations have a great influence on helping to bring about actual results that will coincide with whatever you expect. Upgrading and improving expectations lays great groundwork for improving your life.
Wisdom: Cheerfulness is as natural to the heart of a man in strong health, as color to his cheek; and wherever there is habitual gloom, there must be bad air, unwholesome food, improperly severe labor, or erring habits of life. John Ruskin Spiritual: (NIV)
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
There is evil. There are bad things happening every day. This gets in to a deep theological discussion as to why God allows bad things to happen. At the core of bad things are people who are doing bad things or who allow bad things to happen. Bad things happen when there is an absence of God. Each of us has a role to play in the quality of the world in which we live. There will be no bad things happening in the life that exists after this one.
Prayer: Help me to do my part in making this world a little better. Enable and equip me to do so.