Optimism (Re-)learned

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Human beings are born optimists. There are no pessimistic toddlers. Such a being doesn’t exist. So then, why do we shed our optimism as we grow? Because we are taught to. ‘Come down to Earth.’ ‘Your head is in the clouds.’ ‘Be realistic, life is tough.’ ‘Stop being a Pollyanna; Pollyanna’s are never successful.’

Haven’t you heard (weren’t you told) that kind of command?

Especially during adolescence, adults invariably urge their kids and those of others to leave their optimism behind and “grow up.” As a result, the repeated message ends up becoming part of the kids’ belief systems. Little by little, slowly but surely, they let go of their optimistic worldview just to fit in and be considered “real adults.” How terribly sad!

Then, later in life, when doom and sadness, disappointment and distress permeate their lives, they realize what they lost and mourn it. Because they see reality; they see those who didn’t succumb and didn’t give up their optimism, being happier, healthier and more successful.

They first try to understand it by using their regular tools: ‘let’s be realistic. There must be something I’m doing wrong.’ Realistic? Ha!

Then they ask their friends who, being also grown pessimists, can’t see any other explanations, either.

But our heroes feel worse and worse, sadder and sadder. They don’t realize what they’re missing. They just see others who are happier and more satisfied with life. By comparison, our heroes feel stuck and petrified most of the time.

The good news is that optimism can be (re)learned. Beliefs can be altered, replaced by new, better serving ones. We can all learn to be our old optimistic selves by applying very easy and simple tools. There are immediate, emergency tools for lifting bad moods and longer lasting ones for a more permanent return to optimism.

My book EL OPTIMISTA QUE HAY EN TI – UN MANUAL DE COACHING EN OPTIMISMO, soon to be published in English, is a practical, very easy to use handbook that will help you relearn how to be a real optimist and thus enjoy a happier, longer, more successful and rewarding life.

Remember, a true optimist never gives up and therefore ends up finding solutions to everything.

Preorder your copy in English by sending us an email to theoptimistinme@aim.com

Enjoy life… all of it, J.