Becoming optimistic is a journey and one that is worth taking. As we get older, we realize how important optimism is to our well-being. When we are around people who seem to fall low on the optimistic scale -- we can feel our energy drain and irritation set in -- this is a signal to get our booty out of there.
As we all know, our emotions are heavily influenced by our environment, and often we can't help but sympathize with how others around us are feeling. In these instances, we can choose to be mindful. If you find yourself engaging, agreeing or participating in the "misery loves company" club at work, with family/friends or elsewhere, politely excuse yourself.
Since you may or may not want to totally eliminate such people from your life, just arrange things so at least you only have to deal with them in small doses. Lack of optimism is infectious. Especially in these challenging times, the key is to have minimum exposure to such influences which can begin to seep in without your awareness. Your optimism is a precious resource and one that needs to be protected.
When you are optimistic you feel light, agile, flexible, mentally alert and physically healthy. So it is all the more reason to cultivate this precious resource for when the time or need arises. You will need all your senses working in full capacity to be able to take control of the situation. When you're optimistic you also keep people around you motivated, driven and energized.
Yet being conscious about the thoughts you think, the company you keep and the activities you engage in takes an enormous amount of time, effort and commitment. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Here are the three essentials of optimism.
Essential Mind: Shift Your Focus
Becoming optimistic is a process of self persuasion. It means convincing yourself to give up your addiction to negative dramas whether in your own life or in the lives of others. It means doing something extremely difficult -- setting your own optimistic standards for what should be allowed into your mind, your social circle and your life.
Essential Will: Self Discipline
Setting your mind to focus on optimism or slipping into the right frame of mind requires practice. You can't simply declare one day, "From now on, I'm going to be optimistic" -- and have it automatically happen. Daily awareness, practice and self-discipline will produce results more effortlessly.
Essential Being: Transformation
As you focus more on becoming optimistic, as you practice and assert it, you will find it easier to avoid unproductive people, situations and diversions. You will begin to see a dramatic shift in your consciousness. You will begin to see hope where you thought there was none. You will begin to see solutions where you saw only problems. You will begin to attract people who offer you more. You will begin pursuing activities that feed and nourish you on all levels.
Finally, the most important thing about learning the craft of optimism is that you'll be happier. Despite all the problems/challenges around you, you will feel more "right with the world" -- as though it is yours, that you belong here, and that you matter. "I have become my own version of an optimist," says Rabindranath Tagore, "If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door -- or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present."