You Don’t Have Enough Information to be a Pessimist

May 14, 2015 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Why is it that we are so fond of negativity or cynicism or pessimism? I have this horrible feeling that we can be more eager to pass on negative stories than positive ones. Yuk! Please tell me I’m wrong and it’s just me, but I honestly don’t think so.

Ooh, We Just Love Bad News

Just watch or listen to the news: earthquakes and hurricanes, murders and rapes, police brutality and domestic violence, a famous person on drugs or adultery or debauchery or some minor crime. Bad news is everywhere.

The press produces that kind of material for one reason: They know for sure that is what will “glue” us to the TV or radio. It ain’t them with the problem; it’s you and me. We are attracted to bad news.

Another Problem

Yes, we readily focus on bad news in the world, and sadly, we focus on bad things about ourselves. Do you realize how many crappy and destructive things we believe about ourselves? It’s likely that in your mind: you’re not good enough, rich enough, pretty enough, popular enough, desired enough, sane enough, sober enough.

You probably don’t own a Mercedes, a mansion, and have members of the other sex clinging to you. AND IF YOU DO, you still feel your life sucks. A Mercedes soon becomes merely a fancy Ford, a mansion kills you with upkeep, pretty girls want your money or handsome men only desire your body.

The Result: At times we are hopeless pessimists!

I have one thing to say about that: Bullshit!!!

Pessimism is Bull*#%!

I heard someone say recently that “You don’t have enough information to be a pessimist!” They are right.

The truth is, most negative things you believe about yourself aren’t real. They are self-created negative fantasies that are not fact-based. They are based on untrue insecurities that are created by doubt and fear. As a result, you get into the HABIT of thinking like a pessimist. Maybe it’s exacerbated by what other people say about you or what was said to you by other kids in school or co-workers or what your parents said when you were young.

Whatever the source, it is most often NOT the truth. You are SO much more than you think of yourself. Always.

Unless you’re just a real jerk, which is unlikely if you’re a reader of this blog, you are probably a very cool person who is considered so by friends and acquaintances. You probably have a good life—home, car, TV, a little discretionary cash, some good friends to hang with and a handful of hopes and dreams and goals.

But every now and again, you slip into that negative place of cynical pessimism where you allow your negative perceptions to take control of your life.

As I see it you have two choices: (a) Be consumed with negativity, cynicism and pessimism, or (b) Create a “Habit of Optimism.”

I’m not about to deny there are really crummy seasons of life. Dealing with those is not pessimism, it’s a matter of dealing with harsh reality. But even then, you can empower yourself with hope and optimism.

A Pessimist, on the other hand, has made it a habit to see life through negative filtered glasses. That’s not us; that’s not you. There is no such thing as a pessimistic difference-maker. You can’t discover meaning, adventure and awe in a pitiful state of cynical pessimism.

The Habits of an Optimist

So, when you find yourself in that low-life, woe-is-me, cynical and pessimistic state (like the one I’ve felt almost all week), what can you do? I discovered a cure, I tried it for ONE DAY and it worked. Really. It is simply about forcing myself into a state of Optimism through the implementation of Optimistic Habits!

  1. Habitually feed yourself with optimistic awe and wonder. Employ intense curiosity.
    1. Awake every single morning and say to yourself first thing, “I wonder…
      1. What today will be like?
      2. What kind of enjoyable things will I do? e.g. visit a friend, change that lightbulb that’s been out for a month, take myself to lunch, paint or draw or just “futz”—in your garden, garage, or wherever?
      3. What would happen if I walked into work with a smile and a whistle (if you can whistle)?
      4. What would happen if I tried to be extra nice and friendly today?
    2. Awake and immediately dismiss all preconceived negative thoughts about what will happen today. Don’t even allow them.
    3. Open the “eyes of your heart” in search of wonder.
  2. Then… determine to discover “awe”-full experiences. Find joy and wonder in all your activities. Qohelet (author of Ecclesiastes) says, “Tell yourself your labor is good.” So, first thing in the morning and continuing during the day, “tell yourself” that your day will be filled with “awe”some…
    1. People.
    2. Activities.
    3. Adventures and challenges you weren’t expecting.

Do these sound like the Habits of an Optimist? Okay, I know this may sound a bit hokey, but things become hokey only to the Pessimist, never to the Optimist

Pessimism is a choice, a poor one.

Optimism is the Only Sane Option

Which will you choose today?

Every day is one day closer to no days. So, live today like it was your last!!

 

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