Savage Roads

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pessimism, Optimism and Positive Reinterpretation - Give It A Thought

Two People Look At The Same Thing And See Something Different:
Two men look through the same window just after a rain storm.  One sees the muddy ground that will hinder his daily chores, while the other sees the sunshine that brings warmth and brightens the day.  The difference in each man’s view is caused by their different belief systems.  Their belief system governs their perceptions and how they choose to believe.  It’s the classic question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?”  It all depends on your perception and the way you think about it.

If you’ve placed second in a contest, would you be proud of that result?  Would you accept the outcome as a learning experience and use it as a motivator to practice more? Would you increase your knowledge and skills and reenter the contest a second time to try and better your previous results?  Or would you become discouraged and find an excuse not to participate again?  It is all in the way you look at your results.  A second place finish can be a motivator and an invitation to work harder or you can look at it as your best effort and accept the results.  But, with this second choice, you would eliminate an opportunity for self growth.

Pessimistic vs. Optimistic Point of View:

As you view any situation, or even read this article, you have a choice, either be optimistic or pessimistic.  This simple choice will have a great affect on you.  Look at choices through a pessimistic mind set and you will live a life that is self-defeating.  View choices through an optimistic point of view and you will accept challenges, learn from them, grow in knowledge and live a life of fulfillment without regret for not having tried.

What Is A Pessimistic Point of View?

By definition, pessimism is the belief in a bad outcome.  If you make a choice with the idea that the outcome will likely be negative, then you are willing to accept a diminished result. This pessimistic point of view emboldens “Limiting Beliefs” such as “Leave Well Enough Alone”.  Since you expect less than optimal results, you are not motivated to improve.  You will not investigate further or open your mind to new ideas and learning new ways.  Pessimism dwells in negativity and perpetuates a self-defeating lifestyle.

Pessimistic People Have Difficulty Handling Problems:

A pessimistic individual typically looses control of their emotions during times of stress.  These individuals who are negative, will not accept responsibility.  Pessimists will avoid problems and try to pass them on to someone else.  Negative pessimistic people are likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.

Pessimism Creates Stress:

It is your perception of and then your reaction to situations that can create stress.  If you have a pessimistic and negative attitude, coupled with all the problems of today; high unemployment, high debt and job insecurity, you can easily become stressed and fall into a depressed state of mind.  The rate of depression has never been higher.  It affects adults and young people.  The mean age of onset has gone from 30 to 15.  Stress and depression are no longer middle-aged disorders.

Pessimism Creates Diminished Results and a Defeatist Attitude:

With a pessimistic point of view, that bad things are going to happen, you set yourself to expect and then accept diminished results.  A pessimist has the tendency to expect the worst, so that they are not disappointed, when things do not turn out the way they had hoped.  They create lower expectations, trying to avoid the disappointment of not succeeding.  By doing so, they have destined themselves to fail.  This is the definition of a defeatist attitude.

What Is An Optimistic Point of View?:

Optimism is defined as a state of having positive beliefs, to look on the bright side and expect a good outcome.  The glass is Half Full not Half Empty.  This positive state of mind enables you to be receptive to different points of view.  By being optimistic you expect a better outcome.  You are willing to dedicate the time and effort to learn and improve.  By evaluating all the information available, you make the best decision to achieve the result desired.  This positive attitude leads to success, for an optimistic person is always growing!

Optimism Creates Opportunities:

With an optimistic attitude, you will attract like minded people to yourself.  This leads to becoming known and generating genuine relationships.  It is these relationships that will open the doors of opportunity for you.
These relationships represent a vast storehouse of knowledge and know-how.  Keep a structured network of friends and business associates.  Most importantly keep communication open and flowing.  Always be willing to offer advice to others, and when you need help, ask!

Obstacles vs. Opportunities:

The truth is, optimists are faced with the same obstacles as a pessimist.  What differs is the way they perceive these hurdles.  They look at them as opportunities to learn and grow.
If an optimist does not reach their desired outcome, they tend to believe it’s only a temporary setback.  They will do research, seek advice and decide on a plan of action to obtain their goal.  The hurdle is only a momentary setback.

People Respond Positively to Optimistic Individuals:

Optimists are proactive and less dependent on others.  They find no need to control or manipulate individuals.  Their optimistic attitude draws others towards them, for they are fun to be with.  A positive attitude is contagious and attracts like-minded individuals.  An optimistic person always has friends.
Optimism is a socially desirable trait in all communities.  Those who are happy and optimistic are sought out, while those who are negative are avoided.

Optimistic People are Healthier:

Research has shown that a positive attitude can create a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease.  Have you heard of the placebo effect?  Studies have shown that a group given a drug for an illness got better.  While a second group given a placebo (sugar pill) also showed improvement.  What happened?  There was no drug given.  It was only the power of their mind.   They believed they would get better and they did.

Positive Reinterpretation, How To Become Optimistic:

The key to becoming an Optimistic person is to “use positive words in your thoughts” Everyone has negative thoughts.  When you recognize a negative thought, immediately take the time to rethink it using positive words.  Try and rethink the thought as a positive statement.  This is called “Positive Reinterpretation”.   By practicing positive reinterpretation, you gradually change your belief system.   It is your belief system that filters all input to the mind and thereby regulates your response.  By creating a positive based belief system you naturally become optimistic.
This allows you to interpret negative events and situations in a positive light; in other words, a better way to look at it.  When a negative experience happens, looking at it in a positive light, allows you to open up to various points of view and suggest a good solution.  Optimistic people are unfazed by a bad situation;  they perceive them as an opportunity to learn.
Optimism or Pessimism Is A Choice:

Being a pessimist or an optimist is your choice.  You are not born one way or the other.  You are taught by parents, teachers, religious leaders and life experiences, how to look at and react to various life situations.  Even if you have been influenced negatively by the people and environment you grew up in, you now have the understanding of how to make a change for the better.  It is all in your mind.
Positive reinterpretation is used to rethink your negative thoughts.  It is done by, the “use of positive words to create positive thoughts which will then restructure your belief system” Create the belief that the glass is half full, not half empty.  Always look forward to success in all your endeavors.  Become resilient and develop the ability to adapt to changing situations.  Above all be Happy.  You can create a better outcome for all situations if you will look for and expect the best.

Life Is The Sum Of Your Choices:

Life is filled with numerous choices each day, some small and some huge.  As you make your decisions, remember that you have to live with the consequences and results of each choice.  Research all of your options.  Look at the situation from all points of view. Consult the advice of trusted friends, life coaches and mentors.

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