My attitudes # 2 Optimism
“The goal we seek, and the good we hope for, comes not as some final reward but as the hidden companion to our quest. It is not what we find, but the reason we cannot stop looking and striving, that tells us why we are here”. Madeleine Albright
In my recent post on hope I wrote of that first spark, that first light, that vision of what you desire will eventuate. Optimism, whilst similar, is different.
Optimism is the capacity to look on the bright side of life, of making the best out of any situation.
Optimism is accepting some things will not change and learning to dance despite them.
Optimism is seeing the change that you want, and propelling yourself towards it
Optimism is seeing life’s adversities as challenges to overcome, rather than as hindrances getting in your way.
In our everyday life we have set-backs. When it is raining; you can grizzle and moan; you can hope for the rain to stop; or you can bake cakes and smile. Which do you choose?
If you are kept waiting for four hours because your plane is delayed, you can shout at the stewardess, you can hope they put on an earlier plane; or you can sit and be glad of the extra time to chill. Which do you choose?
I believe looking at the brighter side of such inconveniences prepares you for larger set-backs. Optimism is a huge asset when confronted with difficulties – death, divorce, disease, disablement, displacement, distress, or disaster. In these situations optimism is more than seeing a brighter side, optimism is more than anticipating the best outcome; optimism is a confidence in oneself to be able to chart a course of action, and to propel oneself to overcome the challenges set before you.
Three weeks ago I returned from a wonderful holiday then was hit with the reality of what I am soon to face; running a business on my own, with a reduced asset base, huge debt and risk. How could I cope?
Firstly, I found hope.
Then a post on overcoming FEAR “Face Everything And Respond” gave me a clear optimistic vision, with a kind response by the author Ian to a comment I made that my metaphoric vision of seeing myself wading through mud was me positively seeing adversities as challenges to overcome rather than being frozen in an “it’s not fair” mentality.
I thought back to signs of this optimism in me the past sixteen months. There was evidence. I learned to enjoy each day. I looked on the value of my extra space, rather than seeing emptiness. I embraced solitude. There was my vision overcoming my fear of a mountain to climb by finding an easier path, and proceeding along that path step by step.
A poem posted by Dr Bill Wooten (copied below) earlier this week was a signal to me, a call for action. A similar sentiment was expressed in a poem by Clarabelle of finding the belief within yourself. I was now set. I knew that I had to face what I had to face. I knew that I had to do what I had to do.
So this week I have had meetings with my accountant, commercial lawyer, bank manager, and financial advisor. I have spent evenings feeding numbers into spreadsheets, making business plans, devising budgets, plotting a course of action. I believe I will overcome this challenge. I will survive. I will take the necessary steps towards and reach my own financial security.
Today you can
“Today you can choose to count your blessings
or you can count your troubles.
Today you can live each moment
or you can put in time.
Today you can take action towards your goals
or you can procrastinate.
Today you can plan for the future
or you can regret the past.
Today you can learn one new thing
or you can stay the same.
Today you can seek possibilities
or you can overwhelm yourself with the impossible.
Today you can continue to move forward
or you can quit.
Today you can take steps towards resolving your challenges
or you can procrastinate.
You see today the choices are up to you
in deciding what you do today.”
~ Catherine Pulsifer