The Problem with Optimism

I used to think happiness was something you could think yourself into. You know, “just look on the bright side” and everything suddenly looks better. And to some extent that philosophy is true. How we choose to see things greatly impacts what it is we actually see.

Getting to the bright side is one thing, but staying there is another. Eventually, the glossy shimmer of bright side thinking slowly fades, usually no match for the pressures and intensity of a world that can be very unforgiving.

Bright side thinking is a veneer of sorts. New wallpaper covering the same old cracks in the wall. As well intended as it is, it’s a thought process that usually lacks depth and substance. There is no root system to hold it in place during the storms of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. Bright side thinking is a product of the same mind that just yesterday convinced you of how unhappy you were.

There is a way to get to the bright side and actually stay there. That requires moving beyond simple optimism and uncovering the reasons why you deserve to be living on the bright side in the first place.

A TRUER VISION There is nothing on anyone’s birth certificate that makes reference to a person’s predisposition on how they will view the world. No one is ever born a pessimist, destined to live on the dark side. Pessimism, like optimism, is something that we unknowingly learn. How we’ve dealt with previous life challenges greatly determines how we’ll deal with future ones. Experiences shape expectations.

But what if we were to base our expectations not upon any worldly experiences but upon a truer vision consistent with who it is we really are?

How much time does the world spend each day reminding us of our magnificence, our greatness, and our divinity? More importantly, how much time do we spend reminding ourselves of these very things? The world is far too busy, and sadly, so are we. But even if we don’t take the time to notice, our magnificence, greatness, and divinity are still there. Always have been. Always will be.

OUR OWN PERFECTION When we take a few moments to remind ourselves of who it is we really are, the vision changes. It is restored to it’s original perfection. We move beyond pessimism, beyond optimism and to a place where our own significance transcends any superficial thought process. Our happiness is rooted not in a decision to see the world a certain way; rather, our happiness is rooted in our divine nature, an extension of our own perfection.

Life will still send us the storms that will bend us. Some may shake us to our core. But our true resilience lies within us, empowering us to move forward with the positive expectations consistent with our own creation.

Welcome to the bright side.

It’s a great day to be you!

photo: Matthew Bowden

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