There is a lot of buzz about optimism all around us. It is said that, by having a positive outlook we bring much stability to the mind than by being too critical or cynical. It is expected of any person, who is optimistic that they see the brighter side, a new perspective of sorts. Suddenly, they become the rock for everyone else just because they see that tiny ray of hope and cling on to it. But is seeing the silver lining enough in itself? Is that all optimism is about?
As an optimistic, we would try to focus on seeing the positive in every thing and circumstances which overtime will become a habit. This habit in fact is the pitfall of this simple approach. Soon enough we go from seeing to anticipating the positive in everything. As if every cloud will come with a silver lining. I have realised, this is where the problem begins.
When you program your brain to look for the positive you would always expect that there will be a way out, that there is some good in this situation too, that sooner or later your ray of hope will be clear to you. But what about when you can not see it? How to cope up with that?
Actually this is the real test, when a dark cloud over-shadows your life and it has no apparent silver lining, by habit you would start looking for something to hold on to. Something that could help you get through. But it is no where to be found!
So what we have done here is made ourselves, sub-consciously, to expect a door to show up out of no where, that eventually something/anything good will pop up. Sadly that will not always be the case. You meet a grumpy, sadist person and you are trying to look for positive attributes. Won’t work… Right?
What to do now?
Stop right there and stay unaffected, you be the best you are, you be positive. You see the very beauty of optimism lies not in looking for the brighter side, not in anticipating an emergence of a ray of hope, not in relying on miracles, but staying positive. Notice this subtle shift from “seeing” positive to “staying” positive.
It indeed is about not giving up, not paying attention to the darker sides of things, but being a fool – ignorant and blissful. Remembering all the while that life will bring in down falls and when you do fall, it is advisable to not fall any further by anticipating positive outcomes. Expectation only invites pain into life.
So, the next time there is nothing positive, just “be” positive and by being positive you are releasing yourself from looking for a way out. Optimism does not guarantee positive outcomes and life is unfair but when you are not expecting anymore from anyone or anything… The power comes back to you because you smile beautifully NO MATTER WHAT and this guarantees that the journey will be nice if not great.
PS: Easier said than done and If needed, run for your life! Or that sadist might pick up a wrong signal.