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Member Comments for the Article:
Optimism and the Power of Positive Thinking
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life!
11/13/2013 11:38:17 AM
Great article. However, I have one comment. It's not right to ALWAYS blame "external forces" for your failure. Sometimes it really is our own shortcoming. We didn't do our best. We didn't give it our all. It makes me sad when I don't do my best, because I know I could've done better. But the optimistic thing to do here is to reflect, learn from your mistakes and try again. It's ok to regret and be sad/angry for a little while but never let failure set you back. Without failing, we can't improve.
Interesting article. I've always been an optimistic, (mostly), cheerful person. I do have down days. But - I live with Norman Negative, who is never stressed, and I stress easily. So being an optimistic, cheerful person doesn't necessarily mean we're stress free. I long to be like my cheerful, optimistic sisters who are able to let everything just roll off their shoulders like water off a duck's back.
I think being optimistic doesn't mean you have to stick your head in the sand. You can be optimistic without looking at the world with rose-colored glasses. My world view is enjoy the good times while they are here! It would be a shame to not fully enjoy the good and postive in life because you're too worried that it may end or things may change. I'll be happy and positive and if dark clouds emerge I will deal with them realistically....
I don't see the value in teaching people to view positive outcomes as evidence of intrinsic good, while viewing negative outcomes as circumstantial. In reality, all outcomes in our lives are a mix of our actions and circumstances. Why would it be a good idea to skew your viewpoint otherwise?
Also - Optimists must believe that the world offers ample opportunities for everyone to succeed? That is a very American viewpoint. Many Americans grow up in abundance, and are taught that homeless people are lazy, don't want to succeed, etc. In reality there are *billions* of people on this planet who haven't been born with the advantages we have in the US. The world certainly doesn't offer them ample opportunities for success.
Optimism is just phony chipperness without an accurate view of reality.
My comforter zone, peace, happiness and joy all come from the All Mighty Father. Which his son died for me to have all this. Amen
4/4/2013 7:31:40 AM
As somebody who has always lived in negative surroundings, I had to find positive role models. When I began working with young folks, I took it upon myself to become one of those role models. The transition wasn't an easy one, but I learned so much along the way. A positive attitude does NOT mean denying problems. Rather, it involves facing them optimistically. As I realize that I can impact my world and my situation, I feel less helpless and more optimistic. I accept the negatives in the world, but look over, under, around and beyond them. I DO problem solve, and I DO see grim, disturbing, and even deadly on the spectrum, but I do NOT give in and give up. I remember the blind, paraplegic artist who paints with her teeth, the parent who turned the loss of her child (the most devastating event I can imagine personally) into a national support group for parents who've lost a child. Even ranting and raging have their place in my optimistic world, for they let me release the negative and move forward much more quickly than I otherwise would. Then I seek out compassionate, optimistic friends and we look toward a brighter future that we can build together. The laughter and love have been curative for me and I cherish my ability to give and receive both.
Elizabeth, I loved your comment! I am a realist as well. I'm basically content most of the time, but I'm real enough to know that life is not always a rose garden and no one promised me that it would be. Nothing positive ever manifests itself as a whole from a negative situation if the person is not willing to recognize that it's negative, otherwise it's just burying your head in the sand or putting rose colored glasses on. We need both in our lives to see the difference. We need the good times, the bad times, the joy, the sadness, the excitement, the depression, the calm and the anxiety. I believe that's how it was meant to be. To believe that life should be a 24/7 happy party is just not real. In my opinion, today's society believes that if you are not happy all the time, then you must rush off to your doc for medication. We don't even know how to work through problems anymore and certainly don't know how to teach our children coping skills because so many of us don't have those skills ourselves. We have decided that drugs are the answer to coping. Positive change happens from recognizing a negative and solving it. If a person is not willing to accept the negative, they will never find the positive solution. Again, I really liked your post!
I was rsised by wonderful, caring parents but unfortunately they were very frightened people. I learned at a young age to always look for the worm in the apple.
Its been a long process learning to smile at the worms antics, while enjoying the apple. : )
2/26/2013 4:49:22 PM
Being optimistic and reasonably happy is a choice. Being miserable every day is also a choice. Seems smart to me to choose to be reasonably happy...... I am convinced that my choice is right for me. My relatives seem to dwell on misery, and perhaps, they are even "happy" in their misery----odd as it seems to me!
2/26/2013 4:04:43 PM
You find real joy when you have a personal relationship with Jesus! :-)
I went to middle school and high school with a guy named Jon Burcaw. His son, Shane, has a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Despite the poor prognosis, he started a blog a couple of years ago. He tells his stories about his life and his experiences. The blog is called 'Laughing at my Nightmare', and you'd expect it to be quite negative, but Shane firmly believes in positivity.
I invite you to read the blog: http://laughingatmynightmare.1000notes.com / And to check out his non-profit organization: http://laughingatmynightmare.com/
I am neither an Opiomist or a Pessimist. I am a Realist which translates into thinking logically based knowledge of the circumstances that I am experiencing. As an Example: if you were 85 years old and did some arithmetic you would realize that your life span was coming to an end. How would you use this information in a way that would put a positive spin on a rather dreary future, especially if you are non-religous?. In the words of the tennis player, Arthur Ashe I would tend to agree with his philosophy which is, " Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can".Sometimes Opimimism is based on ignorance that gives one positive self talk because they don't understand why or how their circumstances came about. The parents of the 20 young children killed in Newtown would, I think have a difficult time to put a positive spin on the loss of their children. Their are certain realities in life that are random and extremely negative. Perhaps the best way to approach such situations is to face the problem and try to find solutions for it. If there are no solutions and negative thoughts rule the day I suppose professional help might be needed. When Elizabeth Kubler Ross suffered a massive stroke that left her completely dependent upon care givers she couldn't accept her own principles concerning acceptance and working through physical adversity until final resolution to the situation was attained. When it comes to weight loss I would apply Arthur Ashe's Philosophy which in effect allows you "To accept where you are (when the scale reads weight gain). Try another food plan," Use what you have", and thus, " Do what you can". Everything in life in terms of thinking has degrees. We can't be all positive or all negative in our thoughts if we want to feel happy. What we can do is isolate the REASONS behind both kinds of thinking and balance them so as to acheive some sort of workable equilibrium.
2/26/2013 9:23:40 AM
We always fly higher with a high Ei...er !!!! [emotional intelligence] Thanks for the message, again. We can always repeat this positivity message.....to # 1. Cheers for the years!
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