Each of us walks our own path, and develops our own perspective on life. You may never understand me or my perspective, and you will definitely have your own. It’s inevitable because we come from different walks of life, were born into different families, different times and places, and have lived different sets of experiences. So although I can understand our differences, I can only share the world as I see it and have experienced it.
I’m an optimist. My wife likes to say that I view the world through rose-colored glasses. That doesn’t mean my world is perfect, by any means, but I have observed that things tend to work out most of the time and that’s what I focus on.
I share my life with you to give you my vantage point. Please pick and choose the things that resonate, and leave the rest. But know this: you can choose how you perceive the world, and how it unfolds around you. The lens you choose to view the world through is entirely up to you. I’m not saying the world (or even YOUR world) is going to be all rainbows and butterflies but if you take a step back you will realize it really is pretty damn good. You can either choose to focus on the “bumps and lumps” that life throws your way or you can choose to focus on the “pops and tops.”
Optimism is everything! It comes more naturally for some than others but I believe anyone can train oneself to be more optimistic. As many before me have said, a cup filled to its halfway mark with water can be seen as either half-full or half-empty. That’s just a slight change in perception but a powerful one. And perception becomes reality. I believe that optimistic people are more successful than pessimistic people. I think it’s due to the energy that comes with optimism, which people notice, and want to be around. It’s contagious! It’s like a drug – the best drug in the world – and it’s free!
I’m a big believer in the saying “your energy flows to where your attention goes.” So, following on from that, if you focus on all the ways something won’t work out, what’s more likely to happen? Probably, more things that won’t work out! Don’t do that to yourself; don’t self-sabotage. Personally, I channel 99% of my energy focusing on how things can and will be successful. Does that guarantee success? No, but I can say without a doubt in my mind that it increases the probability of success. Plus, a positive mindset is so much more enjoyable to live than a negative one. Try to find the good in the world. In your world. And hold onto it.
To keep my worldview very positive, I take steps which some may find extreme. For one thing, I stay away from mainstream media, which means sometimes I’m not always up to date on current events. I find mainstream media negative and fear-mongering. Instead, I search out the positive because I need to get my daily fix of the positive to fuel my optimism. What I read, what I watch, what I listen to, the people I surround myself with – these are choices I make to refill my “tank of positivity.” Ultimately, the positive fuels my success. To use a car metaphor, liken yourself (both body and brain), to a car. In fact, to a Ferrari. You the vehicle need fuel to perform to your fullest mechanical potential. Optimism is like high-octane fuel, rich and sustaining, whereas pessimism is like watered-down regular unleaded. Would you expect high performance out of a Ferrari fed low performance, sub-par fuel? At some point, that watered-down fuel is going to wreak havoc, leading to very poor performance, maybe even mechanical failure, and an inability to even start that great machine. Why would we expect any different from ourselves when we ask even more of our minds than is asked of a motor vehicle? High quality fuel -> high quality performance. Garbage in -> garbage out.
Optimism in all endeavors is the path of least resistance to success. Choose to believe that things will work out, refill your tank with positivity, and your mind will in fact begin to work things out! You will see solutions where you had previously only seen problems. Find the positive, choose to see the positive, and your batting average will increase, guaranteed! The probability of home runs and grand slams will also increase exponentially. Optimism leads to winning and winning begets more winning.
So, Ferrari Freedom Fighter, what are you going to fill up on?
Optimism or pessimism?
The choice is yours!
– Gen Y Finance Guy
p.s. here is a meme that captures how I feel about pessimism.
Two quick qs on what you’ve written:
“It comes more naturally for some than others but I believe anyone can train oneself to be more optimistic.”
>Were you a natural optimist or did you have to train yourself extensively in that mode of thinking?
“To keep my worldview very positive, I take steps which some may find extreme. For one thing, I stay away from mainstream media…”
> It’s interesting to hear about practical steps that one can take in this area. Would you be able to share any more of the tips that you take to keep your worldview positive (extreme steps welcome)?
Thanks for the questions.
Was I born Optimistic?
I didn’t start my life out being the uber optimist that I am today. Over time I started to realize that pessimism was of no help regardless of the outcome. In fact, pessimism takes up more bandwidth and hit points and adds absolutely no value. Pessimism keeps you so closed-minded that you can’t tap into the creativeness of your mind to find ways to make something work. Even if failure is the outcome, there is always something to be learned/gained, and leveraged in the next endeavor. I’ve learned to embrace the fact that failures are the stepping stones to success.
What do I do to keep my worldview positive?
(1) As I mentioned in the post, I ignore all forms of news/media.
(2) I read a lot of positive personal development books (also listen to podcasts)
(3) I avoid conversations that are not positive. For example, my wife’s family can get deep into talking negatively about certain people in the family, I not only don’t participate, but I will also leave abbruptly because I don’t want to muddy my positive mind.
Interesting – thanks for coming back on my queries.
”I’ve been a pessimist, since I was born. My first memory is me, in my crib, on my back staring up at the mobile. I looked at it spinning above me, and thought: Oh, yeah. That thing’s coming down!” – Dennis Miller
GYFG, always admire your positive attitude. Your life experience you share with us readers tells me that you ‘make your own luck’ with hard work and well-calculated risks. Your results tell me you have good reason to continue your optimism! Your writing and observations have been impactful to me, and I see the benefit in pursuing an ‘optimism’ instead of just accepting whatever mood the morning brings me. One helpful tool I use is to search for reasons to feel ‘gratitude’ because it is impossible to feel angry and thankful simultaneously.
Your aversion to mainstream media is something I share. Most people expect to be ‘informed’ by news, but never quite grasp that it is a business driven by advertising sales. Eyes and ears are won by promoting conflict, drama, outrage, sex-and-violence, us-versus-them, and none of it improves my life. It no longer matters if it is true, or not.
My thought is that your son and wife both benefit greatly from your optimism. Next time your wife mentions ‘rose-colored glasses’, ask her which person-place-or-thing she would like you to roast!:-)
Appreciate you, GYFG!
Also, performing small gestures also can help with optimism. No better way of energizing yourself than to spread happiness to others. It might be as simple as holding the door for someone, flashing a quick smile to someone or giving a small, positive compliment to someone.
Brighten as many people’s day as possible and, pretty soon, you become more optimistic.