"The choice between optimism and pessimism may be the most impactful choice we make. It creates the foundation upon how we build and live our lives and the impact we have on others."
We came into this world without choice. We didn’t decide to be conceived. Two people we didn’t know decided that for us. We were carried for nine months, then pushed out with no consideration by our mother as to whether we wished to go or stay. We were suddenly and rudely squeezed out into a life that we didn’t decide to live. Then to add to the humiliation of coming into this world naked, a group of masked strangers examined our bare bodies and counted our fingers and toes, as if they’d never seen a tiny human before. Embarrassingly, we cried like little babies, when for no reason at all, one of the masked strangers grabbed us by our ankles, raised our naked bodies upside down and slapped us on our bottoms. Their actions told us for the first time, life is unfair.
That’s how it all began for me. Maybe you endured a similar experience?
We were given no choice. On one day we didn’t exist and on the next, we are a human life beginning to form and grow. We entered an imperfect and broken world and are told at an early age, “Life isn’t fair. Just deal with it.”
Even though we are forced onto this world we quickly begin establishing how we’ll live our lives by the choices we make. Those choices are made based upon how we see and interpret the world around us. The choices we make, determine our direction and the way we live our lives. We are where we are at this very moment, not by chance, but because of the choices we made. It is those choices that determine the quality of the life we lead and our impact on those around us.
The choice between optimism and pessimism may be the most impactful choice we make. It creates the foundation upon how we build and live our lives and the impact we have on others.
Where some people see sadness, others create happiness. Where some see no way out, others optimistically create their path. Where some see overwhelming odds, others see opportunity to succeed. The greatest difference I see in the lives of happy and successful people and those who are miserable and failing, begins with how they view life. The happiest and most successful among us, see the world as a beautiful place abundant with opportunities for happiness and success, while others see obstacles in their path and misery.
I always marvel at how an optimist and a pessimist can look at the same thing but see something different. It is a matter of prospective created by our attitude. We all have heard the example of those who see the glass half full while others see it half empty. That is applicable to any situation. I paid my way through college selling vacuum cleaners, door to door. I graduated from college debt free, while nine out of ten people who started in that business quit in the first day because they could not see the opportunity. They focused on the prospects who slammed the door in their faces. I focused on those who did not and assumed they were happy to see me. Both were true but I focused on the positive.
Looking through the eyes of optimism encourages you to push forward. As I say almost every week, if you are pessimistic and assume failure, why would you even try? You already assume the worst.
Don’t blame others for your view of life.
Some of us are born into loving families who nurture and teach us right from wrong, while others are brought into lives where they were never wanted and learn to live their lives without nurturing or instruction. Regardless of which, it is the choices that we make that determine how we live our lives and how we ultimately impact others. Blaming your parents for your attitude is a foolish excuse. As soon as we are old enough to discern right from wrong, good from evil and positive from negative, our choices become our responsibility. Accepting responsibility for our own actions is paramount to living a happy, successful and optimistic life.
More important than success, the most optimistic people I know are also the kindest. The kindness we shared and the dignity in which we live makes a lasting impact on the world around us.
The time to think about the impact we have on others is not on our deathbed but while we are living our lives. Decide now the difference you wish to make, the joy and happiness you wish to share with others or positive education you can pass on.
Choose optimism and you are choosing a happier and more fruitful life.
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