O – Optimism

Day 18

Optimisim is the tendency to expect the best and to see the best in all things; hopefulness and confidence.

The word is derived from the Latin word "optimus" meaning "the best".

I used to be a pessimist, but I didn't feel very good. Plus that accompanying frown added premature wrinkles that certainly didn't twinkle!

I understand the view of the pessimist. I had lots of practice in expecting the worst; that way I protected myself from disappointment and heartbreak. If anything good happened, that would be a bonus, wouldn't it? Does this sound familiar?

The pessimistic view is not too far of a stretch into worry, something else in which I was well-rehearsed. Fortunately, I've seen and felt the difference. It's reflected in my heart rhythms. It's also reflected in how much better I feel - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. This bring me back to the beginning: optimistic - optimism - optimist!

"Few things in the world are more positive than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. And you can do it when things are tough." - Richard M. DeVos

Are your children constantly looking at life as if the glass is half empty? Are you?

Discuss this idiom and ask them to classify their viewpoints into a half-empty glass or a half-full glass.

May I offer you a glassful of suggestions to get started?

  • They didn't do as well as they expected on a project.
  • Their game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
  • The concert they wanted to see was sold-out.
  • When they had finally saved up enough money to purchase their favourite video game, it was no longer in stock.
  • The power went out and they couldn't watch their favourite television show.

5 Replies to “O – Optimism”

  1. Great glassful of suggestions to get started on thinking about optimism vs pessimism! Two quotes to add to the conversation:

    “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill however, as Gil Stern wisely notes, “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”

    1. Thanks for the quotes, Dorlee. The whole chunking up/chunking down theory comes into play, here. Are you familiar with it?

  2. It’s from NLP (Nero-Linguistic Programming). Basically, you break things into small bits in order to facilitate processing. Chunk down for small details, chunk up for the big picture. The goal is to be able to do what’s needed, when it’s needed.

    Some people may be primarily big picture thinkers, others may be extremely detail oriented. This could be detrimental to the task at hand. Developing flexibility, and chunking up/down helps to generate new outcomes.

    1. I see… yes, this makes sense. Flexibility in the way we look/think [or even move] is so important. It expands one’s range/field of vision/motion… I may be writing something about this very topic soon.

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