I will be the first to admit that there are days when I just think the world is an ugly, cruel place where nothing makes sense, no one cares, people are ignorant, selfish, and just can’t seem to get it together to do what is best. Inside I think to myself, “SERIOUSLY people! The world is not flat, and you can’t even say it revolves around you then too!” : ) I’m not just talking about others, I’m guilty of acting like this as well sometimes.
Yes, we live in times where there is plenty of bad to go around. There is a lot going on in the world around us to bring us down, to push us and make us want to destroy ourselves and others. A lot of people are pessimistic about what is to come, especially when they take the time to look at the realities of this world. Yes, there are hard realities to face. Whether it be the fact that you lost a job, or that someone near and dear to you is now gone, you are having financial or health challenges, or that your nail broke. We can concentrate on world problems that we can’t tackle on our own and despair about what is to come. We can choose to ignore these things and drown ourselves in the things that distract us from these realities, or we can be an optimist.
If you know me personally, you know that I definitely am an optimist. I look on the brighter side, my glass is always half full, I give the benefit of the doubt. Now, there is a difference between healthy optimism and just pure blissful ignorance. I am always looking to find that balance by educating myself and looking for structured solutions when it comes to putting things together, while staying positive. So if my nail broke, yeah that sucks, but it will grow back, oh and this time I’ll apply an extra coat of nail polish to keep it stronger and start taking prenatal vitamins. (Did you hear about how those help? Gentlemen, you should start taking them too.)
Anyway, my point is this, there is a solution to every problem and if you stay positive you are more likely to find it and not give up. Optimism is not a trait to be frowned upon, but a trait that brings light into times of difficulty and discouragement. This can be applied in so many ways, I’m just not going to get into them. Instead, I am going to urge you to watch this video and listen to this very smart woman’s view on the optimism bias. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist who has done extensive research on the topic, so if you don’t agree with my happy go lucky, cheerful, positive outlook on life then at least take hers into consideration.