Check out the latest insights on the Centre for Optimism Blog - Learn More

Is optimism on Life Support, Michael Adamse?

"I think there’s still room for optimism in America and we desperately need it"

By Victor Perton, Author of "Optimism: The How and Why"

Reading an interview with Dr Michael Adamse, I was struck by his comment, "I think there’s still room for optimism in America and we desperately need it."

The question asked by Michelle Llama was "Why did you decide to write your latest book on mental health?"

Michael answered, "I’ve seen the impact of political, social and economic turmoil in the U.S. in my practice. People are experiencing health disorders, addiction problems, social isolation and more. This cornucopia of mental health issues is really related to two primary things: a response to the events happening in the country and the political divide. 

"So, I felt really compelled to write this book to address those problems and address what we’re witnessing. I felt that there wasn’t enough of a balance in the media with too much polarization and fear-based reporting. I really wanted people to see that it’s not as hopeless as some are suggesting. 

"I think there’s still room for optimism in America and we desperately need it. That’s why I wrote the book."

Reading Michael's book, "Make America Sane Again: A Mental Health Expert Weighs In", Michael says, "I consider myself a realistic optimist."

On optimism, Michael writes:

"Fear can be readily tamed through a mindset that embraces rational thinking, perspective taking, and optimism."

"If you tend to be an optimistic type of person, much of what you read (in this book) will be refreshing. However, this is not a Pollyannaish view of a world where all our problems are solved by sitting around a campfire singing songs and holding hands. I live in the real world and know fully well that our individual and societal lives are fraught with real and draining."

"Unless we get a collective grip on what is truly happening to us on a deeper psychological level, the shift away from individual and collective optimism is at risk. Yes, even optimistic individuals can be worn down over time."
"One might ask the question as to whether the media can generate hope and optimism during uncertain times. Of course, they can, but positive messaging isn’t valued in a climate of negativity nor has it proved as profitable."
"my father was the most optimistic, positive person I have ever known. He never complained or spoke badly of anyone. He watched the news but knew that the world was a beautiful place to live. He was also a man of faith, and I know that was the source of his personal power."
Michael asks "Is optimism on Life Support?"
"Unfortunately, a seismic shift seems to be occurring in this country from an energetic optimism to a sharp rise in negativity and pessimism. You certainly know what I’m talking about here. It’s apparent in our day-to-day conversations on virtually any topic that touches on politics, the economy, or other issues that the media addresses."
"If you’re willing to take a close look at where you individually stand in the optimism–pessimism continuum, I have an exercise in mind for you. You will need to focus on this one. Here we go: Try not to think about politics for a moment. That might be tough since it’s such a dominant force in our daily lives. Don’t think about anything other than your individual life experiences. I want you to focus on your relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. How would you rate the quality of those relationships? Of course, they vary by person, but I would venture to say that most of them lean toward the positive side of the relationship continuum. Why is that? Because we’re social beings and want to get along. Your interactions with others are mostly positive or benign."
"Beyond monetary help, Americans volunteer more of their own time helping others than anyone else. Americans are good people, and charity is associated with hope and optimism that those in need may be lifted out of their plight into a better place. Charitable deeds don’t get much play these days, but they abound. If optimism is on life support, you’re the cure."
"While negativity begets negativity, the converse is also true. Positive energy engenders a synergistic response in others who share the same orientation. Optimists are simply realists who expect challenges in life and then overcome them by filtering through the negative to embrace the positive."



Keep up to date with the latest from Centre for Optimism

We appreciate any contribution you can make to help us spread optimism with the world
Give Today

Connect With Us

We love to connect with everyone who is ready to open up and share their optimisim.