1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
3. the belief that goodness pervades reality.
4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
The meanings 2, 3, 4 are all the words of God, the good over evil preaching. What I am concerned is meaning 1. Every situation in life we come at point where conditions seem to be what we think about them. Yes, if you are optimistic then the conditions seem good but if not then they are worse.
People who know me well call me the “treasure chest of optimism”, some say it with a sense of respect but many say that in a sarcastic tone too..!! Well, I don’t care. Because that’s what optimism is all about looking at the brighter side. It has been and remains to be a struggle to be an optimist. It is very easy to give into the negative thoughts and become a part of the opposite. I’ll give you an example.
Going to Kota after my 12th std because of my performance in JEE was one of the toughest decisions I had taken. I am a guy who doesn’t take life as-it comes. But plans it and that to meticulously. Yet I had never planned that I would end up going to Kota (it was not overconfidence but yes it was extreme optimism). When I saw my life shattered because of that one result, I was falling in the pit. I was entering the negative cycle, then came to my rescue: Optimism. I saw a silver lining, I couldn’t define it..but it was there. I prevented the negative cycle. I lived my (whatever little time) in Kota peering at the clouds for that silver lining. And it came: I was admitted to ICT. One of the best chemical institutes in the country.
I saw myself getting crushed but I found something that gave me strength: OPTIMISM. Since then I have always tried to spread a sense of optimism because it can not only be a saviour but a driving force too. Believe me its a way of life.
Pessimists, you don’t believe me. Let the researchers speak then..
These are excerpts from an article by Bob Farrant on the 25 years of research work on Optimisim v/s Pessimism by Martin Seligman.
The pessimist thinks the optimist is a fool; the optimist thinks the pessimist makes themselves unnecessarily miserable.
Researchers find that optimism contributes to good health and pessimism to illness.
Seligman discovered that optimists are also more successful than pessimists.
Pessimistic explanations make you feel defeated, making it less likely you’ll take constructive action. Optimistic explanations, on the other hand, make you more likely to act.
Pessimism sets up the conditions for depression to occur.
Seligman and his colleagues, using interviews and blood tests, have found that optimists have better immune activity than pessimists, which has been confirmed by other researchers.
We place ourselves under great handicap by being negative and pessimistic. Optimism helps people succeed in health, business, sport, politics and most—if not all—walks of life. But too many of us are hindered by our sense of self-defeat.
All in all, optimism is a practical, hard-headed, and realistic approach to life. So embrace optimism and change your life.