Optimism, An Optimist Point of View


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by Jayaram V

Source: This essay was originally published in the book “Think Success, Essays on Self-help” by Jayaram V under the title, “Positive Mental Attitude," and reproduced with publisher's permission.

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Today's sorrow hides in its bosom the joys of tomorrow. Adversity is the soil in which you sow the seeds of success. The rains that came today and ruined your paths would soon make the earth green and abundant. In the womb of loss is the seed of gain. The storms and floods that devastate life on earth also enable us to start life afresh. The night that invokes in us fearful thoughts, also reveals to us the beauty and majesty of the star filled heavens.

Life is what we make of it. Life is as we think about it.Life is what we want it to be. Life is a mixture of colors that we choose and put on an otherwise empty canvas. We see what we want to see, accept those we believe in and ignore those that do not interest us. This is the wisdom of the ages, ancient as well as modern.

Therefore, think positively. Even amidst difficulties hope for the best. Keep courage. With faith in your heart and confidence in yourself, you can overcome your problems. Know with certainty that at the end of darkness there can only be light.

Your suffering is a part of your spiritual evolution. It sets in motion a purifying process, which ultimately leads to your awakening and enlightenment. If you look at the world with thoughts of love, full of compassion and understanding you do not live in despair. If you look at yourselves, with understanding and acceptance, you will not find any reason to be unhappy.

How often do we spend our lives, feeling unhappy and inadequate about ourselves? How often do we defeat ourselves with thoughts of self-criticism? How often do we hurt others with anger and frustration? How often do we silence our courage and confidence with negative thoughts, and how many relations do we lose, by our judgmental and critical nature?

A positive mind accepts life as it happens and accommodates every event and circumstance with a positive interpretation, however difficult it may be. In the mind of a positive person darkness is dissolved in the light of wisdom. Everything finds in it a cause to celebrate and reason to stay.

A positive mind is a liberated mind. If you want to be a true optimist, liberate yourselves from all forms of pettiness and selfishness. Happiness can be an invention of the mind that can see light on the other side of darkness. Invent your happiness through positive thinking. With your feet firmly on the ground, and your head held high, fight the battles of life.

An optimist's world view

We can make ourselves happy or unhappy out of the same situation. We have the capacity to impart meaning and significance to the events and situations in our lives. At each turn in our lives we have to make choices and find direction. On earth we are creators, creating our lives and destinies and shaping our reality according to our thoughts and desires. Our experiences are part of the great story that we create in our minds about ourselves and the world around us. Our moods, emotions and feelings do not depend upon what life offers to us, but on how we receive the perception and make sense of it.

Happiness, unhappiness, courage, timidity, love, and hatred, are the illusions and indulgences we create in our minds in pursuit of our desires and dreams. It is according to our thoughts and desires that we make choices and indulge in actions to reach our goals and enjoy pleasures and comforts of life.

A positive person reacts with consideration and wisdom to the events in his life. He controls his reactions and interpretations and there by his feelings and emotions. He knows well that he can control his thoughts and behavior, but not the world. He also knows that to be happy and contended, he must learn to find opportunities and possibilities in problems to learn from them and keep hoping and striving until the door of wisdom and success open to him.

Optimism is not escapism

Thus, he takes personal responsibility for his choices, actions, and the consequences he faces, without blaming others. Shielded by positive attitude, he safeguards himself from the negative and the harmful. He remains immune to his enemies and critics as he forgives them with compassion and understanding. When sorrows knock him down, he lifts himself up by his own thoughts. He does not wait until the end of the tunnel to discover the beauty of light. In darkness he looks at the stars and assures himself of the coming dawn, and if there are no stars he finds comfort in the healing and relaxing power of the silent night.

Positive thinking is not wishful thinking. It is neither self-deception nor rationalization. A positive person is not an escapist, who deludes himself with fantasies. He knows how to deal with the world and guard his interests. When events do not happen as expected, he knows what to do and where to look for answers. In difficult circumstances, he knows how to make sense of them and deal with them. This is the secret of positive thinking. It helps you to nurse your wounds when you are hurt by adversity and strike back when you find an opportunity.

Therefore, think positively with your feet firmly on the ground. Learn to look for the hidden purpose in the events and circumstances of your life and the brighter side them. Even if you have a strong reason to be unhappy, know that it will be temporary and you will soon overcome it. Whatever be the circumstances, difficulties, and problems, keep faith in the positive outcomes. Balance your negative thoughts, doubts, and fears with hope, courage, confidence and gratitude.

To be positive towards others, you have to learn to think positively about yourself. You must forgive yourself, heal your past and accept yourself without guilt or remorse. When you love and accept yourself, you will be able to extend the same attitude towards others. You will forgive people, and tolerate their imperfections and shortcomings.

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