How to be an Optimist

Any change in lifestyle, whether great or small, can be accomplished by virtue of one easy and controllable method. Many of the lifestyle choices that the average person makes are done through this method without much in the way of conscious choice; the trick to achieving change consciously is to recognize the power behind this methodology and exploit it. The secret? Habit.

Losing weight is best accomplished by making a habit of eating right and exercising. Increasing one’s vocabulary is best attained through the habit of learning and using at least one new word per day. This ability extends even to changing one’s perspective on the world. Even if you have spent most of your life shaking your first at the sky and demanding to know when some cosmic waitress will come along to fill your half-empty cup you can quickly learn to adopt a more optimistic view. Optimism is not something with which some people are naturally born and others are given a short supply. The capacity to look on the bright side exists within every human being and it can be learned. More than that, it should be learned. Numerous scientific studies as well as simple anecdotal evidence have forwarded proof that optimistic people are, on the whole, far happier than those who cling to looking for worst in life. Even if it is true that optimism springs from a willingness to overlook pragmatic rationality on occasion, there is still no denying that people who look at obstacles as opportunities tend to be more successful than those who give in to self-pity and a self-destructive acceptance that Murphy’s Law is the governing rule behind every decision.

Changing thought processes can seem daunting at first, but only when looked at from a pessimistic state of mind that views evolutionary adaption in terms of the whole. No habit that you or any person has originates full blown from it starting point. Just as every journey begins with one step, so does never habit begin with the first time you do it. Adopting a more positive outlook and a sense of hope is no more difficult than developing the habit of smoking cigarettes or taking the same route home from work every day. It has been asserted that it takes about three weeks on average to develop a habit. What that means is that if you begin today consciously deciding to view your life from the perspective that the cup is half-full, then three weeks from day you may find yourself getting around with a positive attitude without even thinking about.

Can adopting an optimistic attitude really increase your enjoyment of life? Well, that all depends, doesn’t it?