Here’s an excerpt from my new book Being Joy™ about the power of optimism.
I’ve sometimes been told that I’m naïve, too impressionable, not a realist – usually by people close to me who are concerned that I’m setting myself up for disappointment. But I’ve always been an optimist – one of the most essential qualities for joy I believe.
From my earliest memories, I emulated the little girl from the book Pollyanna. I related to her on a level that was deep and to my core. Like Pollyanna I knew there was always a silver lining and that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt. That belief has certainly been put to the test many times in my life. However, I knew that every set-back was a learning experience and moved me closer to where I longed to be, even if at times I wasn’t entirely sure where that was.
I believed then and still do today, that every person, place, and event I’ve experienced has meaning and has shaped the human being I am today. And at the foundation of that has always been an optimism that energizes and propels me to get up each time I fall and to do the cha-cha rather than lie down in defeat.
“Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward
after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.”
You see my optimism comes from a knowing that we co-create our own destiny. That the choices we make and the thoughts we think have everything to do with the outcome. And like Pollyanna, because I believe in the power of good, I see more good than evil. Because I believe that I am responsible for my own joy, I am more joyful than sad. And because I am an optimist, I am simply more at peace with events as they unfold around me – there are no mistakes and everything that happens has meaning and purpose, even if I can’t see it at the time.
But, you ask, what about all the problems in the world today? Political instability, poverty, homelessness, violence, environmental contamination. How can I feel optimistic about a future with all that to worry about?
So, here’s the deal about fear. When you’re in fear, you can’t hear. And fear blocks joy. When you are fearful and fret about things, you create resistance, and that restricts the flow of possibility. Put simply, when you worry, you let fear drive the decisions you make and that has a decided impact on the amount of joy you feel, which slows down your ability to manifest what you want. Remember – joy is your opportunity magnet.
Still need some inspiration to shift your perspective? Well a terrific book I ran across that might help you dissolve any pessimistic views you hold about the future is called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter H Diamandis and Steven Kotler. These authors epitomize optimism and have provided some great evidence for a future we should all get excited about.
Another great resource to inspire you about the possible, is a magazine called The Intelligent Optimist. Published in the Netherlands, this magazine has a growing international following of people like me, who believe that optimism will prevail and that we, as a global community can successfully work together to resolve issues and change the face of our future. I encourage you to look at it. A steady diet of inspiration from resources like these can do wonders to shift the energy you attach to events and situations in your daily life.
This world has plenty of examples of optimism at work – for healing and for joy. Look around to find your own examples. Deepak Chopra said it best: “You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.” And when you find it, celebrate and share your joy with others. Then join me in a “cha-cha” anytime you stumble. And that is joyful living.
Want more? Buy my book today.
Love from your Joy Mama