I detest the Positive Thinking cult. Yes, you read that correctly.
But I am supremely optimistic.
I see the Positive Thinking cult as the religion of Hubris; man worshipping himself. “I am my own god. I control my own destiny. There is nothing I can’t be, nothing I can’t do, nothing I can’t accomplish. I am limited only by my own thoughts.”
Sorry. I just needed to put that on the table. It’s important to me that you know I’m not a you-can-do-it-if-you-think-you-can motivational weasel selling magic beans to unsuspecting children.
“But didn’t Jack’s beans grow into a beanstalk that reached into the clouds?”
Thank you for helping make my point: IT’S A FAIRY TALE.
Sometimes your very best just isn’t good enough.
But I believe optimism is the gateway to happiness.
Outcomes are determined by actions.
Actions are determined by beliefs.
Your attitude is the glow of your beliefs.
What do you believe about the future? What is your relationship to Chance?
Have you ever met a happy pessimist?
Pessimists prefer the term “realist.” This allows them to reposition optimists as unrealistic airheads who need not be taken seriously. So no, I’m not going to let you pretend you’re neither optimistic nor pessimistic but are merely scientifically “realistic.”
Reality refers only to the current moment: a thing is, or it is not. Optimism and pessimism reflect your expectations about the future. Data is one thing, chance is another. Facts don’t alter the reality of Chance.
What do you expect Chance to bring?
Optimism is surrounded by cliché: “The optimist sees the glass half full, the pessimist sees it half empty.” You’ve always understood this distinction and wished you could see the world more cheerfully, but you can’t help how you feel, right?
Wrong. Optimism is a choice.
Discussions about the future reveal your basic belief system. Whether you call him God or Chance or The Universe or whatever, you believe he is aware of you or he is not.
If you believe he is aware, then you believe he either likes you or he does not.
My position is similar to that of Michael J. Fox: “I believe there is a god and it’s not me.” I believe God sees my flaws and knows my darkness but he likes me anyway. I believe bad things happen randomly. I don’t attribute them to God. Arthur C. Clarke said it best: “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have both free will and a benevolent higher power who protects you from yourself.” This understanding supports my optimism. It is part of my belief about God.
This is what I believe about you: You are astoundingly, amazingly, unbelievably lucky. Good things happen to you that you don’t deserve. Good things are on the way.
When a bad thing happens, let the ugly pass. Don’t stare at it. Keep your eyes on the beauty that will follow in its wake like a skier behind a boat.
Keep your eyes on the rope. The skier will soon appear, smiling and beaming with good news.
Roy H. Williams
The beagle has outlined a series of specific steps in the Rabbit Hole that will put you on the road to Optimism. Enter the Rabbit Hole by clicking the image of the skier at the top of this Monday Morning Memo. Each click of an image will take you one level deeper.
PS – When Pennie proof-read this memo for me, she Googled Michael J. Fox to see if I remembered that quote correctly. What she found is that he published a new book last week. I ordered a copy. Click the book cover below to go to Amazon.com