Optimism: An Admirable Virtue

Optimism is a human tendency to expect the best possible outcome of any situation. The term is derived from the French optimisme, from New Latin optimum, i.e.,the greatest good or the best. It is the feeling of being hopeful about the future, or about the success of something. It provides the inner strength that helps one to face tough times, and the benefits that follow help the individual to keep fit and healthy to face life. The philosophical doctrine of optimism is that everything is ordered for the best. Thus, optimism helps the individual to see, feel and think positively, and lead a healthy life. Here I would share an Arabian proverb, He who has health, has hope, and he who has hope, has everything".

A popular saying goes as, "Is the glass half-empty or half-full". It beautifully defines the power of optimism which can change your life, your health, your career and bring you closer to your goals. Unnecessary stress is avoided and the quality of life improves. However, it needs honest introspection and self-examination to understand why you are prone to pessimism. On this self-realization one can come to grips with pessimism and finally discard it.

Optimism: Step by Step

Everybody is not a "born optimist". When you are faced with a crisis in life, choose a positive viewpoint to make the most out of it. Some salient measures to adopt are:

  1. Rationalize the situation. The result would be "realistic optimism". and you can hope and expect the best under the circumstances.

  2. Persevere to attain the goal. Think of alternative ways to overcome the roadblocks.

  3. Be ready and motivated. Accept success gracefully. A point of caution is to avoid an "over-optimistic attitude.

  4. Take sensible measures to become a leader. Favorably consider the views of your peers.

  5. Choose to visualize the glass as half-full and not half-empty.

  6. Always try to keep a flexible frame of mind. Be ready to adjust and change. Don't adhere to a "fixed mindset". Be ready to change to a "growth mindset".

  7. Make a "Happy List" every evening. Write down three or four great-things that happened that day. Such a practice over a week can result in a change of 'mood' for the better.

Qualities of Optimists

Optimistic people are confident, cheerful, positive thinkers, more productive, high achievers, healthy, hopeful, happier, motivated, not critical of others, and more open-minded. The neurotransmitters or the "Happy Hormones" , namely endorphins, enkephalins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin are favourably balanced to exhibit an optimistic and healthy behavior. Such individuals never suffer from an 'inferiority complex'.

Building Blocks of Optimism

The following measures are essential for developing an optimistic outlook:

  1. Improved level of faith;

  2. Strengthened emotions;

  3. Find things to laugh at;

  4. Start the day with physical exercise;

  5. Learn from your mistakes;

  6.  Sleep well;

  7. Try to look good and tidy;

  8.  Stop complaining;

  9. Develop self-esteem and confidence;

  10. Try Biofeedback Therapy to change your thought pattern;

  11.  Indulge in small acts of kindness towards others; and

  12.  Be thankful for what you have.

Some Quotes on Optimism

  • "The optimist sees the rose and not the thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose". - Kahlil Gibran

  • "An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity". - Winston Churchill

  • "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence". - Helen Keller

  • "No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit". - Helen Keller

  • "It is not that optimism solves all of life's problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing". - Lucy MacDonald

  • "For myself, I am an optimist - it does seem to be much use being anything else". - Winston Churchill

Thus, better be an optimist, rather than otherwise.


More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar

Top | Individuality

Views: 3810      Comments: 0

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.