Springingtiger's Blog


Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.
March 4, 2016, 22:13
Filed under: Health, NLP, Parenting, personal development | Tags: , , ,

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There is something both admirable and irritating about optimists. We admire them for their indefatigable belief that everything is going to work out for the best. We are frustrated at their refusal to accept what most of us believe are the realities of life. But what if it is the so called realists who are wrong?

I think most of us focus on the negatives because we take the positives in life so much for granted we fail to see them. It only takes one delayed train or one unreasonable and offensive customer to evoke the conclusion, ‘I am having a terrible day’. In NLP when someone says they are depressed ‘all the time’ the challenge tends to be, ‘What, ALL the time?’. The point is that we forget we are depressed except when we notice it, what we fail to notice is every other moment when depression does not occur to us. I am sure a psychologist could give reasons for why it is always the bad thing, the bad event, that dominates our thinking. I just think it’s unfortunate because we fail to appreciate how good our lives are.

We have a tendency to take everything personally, but as Jesus says the rain falls on the just and on the unjust. Life happens, sometimes people actively take a hand in events, but most of the time events move on impelled by forces that care not for the individuals impacted. It is for us to derive the best of them. We weep when someone dies of illness or violence, we forget that death is inevitable and the tears we shed today we would otherwise shed tomorrow. I read the other day a wonderful response to the question, ‘Why cannot healers always cure a person and save them from death?’ the reply, ‘Sometimes death is the best cure’. And it may be true, better death and freedom from pain than years of debilitating pain and incapacity.

There is a power in deliberately seeking the good in everything. The rain that spoils the picnic makes the flowers grow. The headache that prevents mother from cooking means father can feed the family his signature dish of sardines on toast. We interpret everything that happens as either good or bad, ultimately it’s all made up and there is no good nor bad, there is just what’s so and what we make it mean. I always say, ‘I prefer funerals to weddings, the food is just as good and there’s no dancing!’. The point is that there is good in even the worst days and usually much more good than we realise.

As long as we expect the worst or worse, as long as we are attached to a particular outcome we deprive life of the possibility for good except when everything goes to our plan, and how often does that happen? However when we are prepared to make the best of every eventuality and not be limited by our preconceptions we have an unlimited possibility of enjoying every day. I have often written of the benefits of gratitude and of how it opens up the possibility of receiving more things for which to be grateful. The real power of gratitude lies in its power to see the blessings in any occurrence.

Perhaps what we really hate about Donald Trump is not his arrogance and stupidity, but his optimism. He has had bankruptcies, failed businesses and failed marriages, but rather than having been discouraged he seriously expects to become President of the United States. I sincerely hope he doesn’t, but that’s my personal opinion. Trump unlike other candidates won’t be crushed by defeat, he’ll just start another enterprise, perhaps write a book on how to succeed in politics (he has no sebse of irony). It is noticeable that as a group successful entrepreneurs have more failures in their lives than most people because failure doesn’t stop them, fear of failure doesn’t stop them. They always look on the bright side of life and expect good things to happen regardless of all evidence to the contrary. When Thomas Edison was asked how many attempts it took him to make a working light bulb, he said, ‘around a hundred’. He was asked, ‘so you failed a hundred times?’ No said Edison, ‘I learned ninety nine ways not to make a light bulb’. That is looking on the bright side of life.

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