Yes, I am going to be cliché and start this post with the question that is always used to determine if we are optimists or not: do you see the glass as half empty or half full? However, this question does not determine anything. Most of the time people will answer half full regardless of what the truth is because that is what they think they should answer. Some people, who know and like to be negative, may answer half empty and others will say that it is both and the question is stupid. No matter what the answer is, a lot of people do not really understand the point of this question. I know I sure did not and probably still don’t. I thought that being optimistic was just saying “this is going to be a great day.” I thought that being optimistic was a way of thinking. I thought being optimistic was trying to find the best in everything, but what I thought was wrong.
Being optimistic is not about saying that you will have a great day; it is believe you will. Being optimistic is not a way of thinking; it is a way of being. Being optimistic is not trying to find the best in everything; it is about automatically seeing the best in everything. To become an optimistic person we not only need to change the way we think but our attitude as a whole. We need to make optimism not only a habit, but a part of us and what a great part of us it can be.
We have all been around those people who when you say yes, they say no. I have been guilty of that probably more times than I would like to admit but being optimistic is such a great quality to have. Think about it. If you were more optimistic, every situation becomes a good one. A great example of this can be seen in the book I am currently reading entitled The Last Lecture. The author of the book, Randy Pausch, found out he had just six months to live. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he was optimistic about the situation. He decided to use those six months to spend time with his family, do the things he loved, and inspire millions. The book is full of motivational anecdotes and important life lessons and although I have not yet completed the book I would recommend it highly. However, the point of bring up Randy Pausch is that if a man can see being stricken with cancer and only have six months to live in a positive light, we should be able to see everything in a positive way. If we do, great things will happen.
The reason great things will happen is because attitude is everything. Attitude defines what we get out of ever experience. If we go into a situation and see only the positive aspects of it, no matter how little they are, the situation can only turn out positive. We will begin to enjoy life more and get more out of everything we do. We will build better relationships with the people around us and people will want to be around us more because we will rub off on them. We will bring positivity to the group, enhancing the experience as a whole. We need to stopping focusing on the negative and start focusing on the positive. These do not need to be major changes, at first just change the way we see things. Randy Pausch writes in his book, “Ask Disney World Workers: ‘What time does the park close?’ They’re supposed to answer: ‘The park is open until 8 p.m.” This is what we need to do to become optimistic: twist everything into a positive light, even a simple question such as that. Once we start with these little changes, optimism will start to become a part of us. The more and more we twist and things, the bigger and bigger that optimistic part becomes.
I am twisting the little questions in my life to actually believe and see the glass as half full. What twists can you make in your life?