“I think I can, I think I can,,,,”
Is it time to transform our worldview from one of cynicism and pessimism to a more refreshing outlook full of hope and promise? If that sounds like a good idea, it requires us to let go of “If something bad can happen, it will!” It also requires embracing an attitude of optimism. When we see a future of opportunity, it is easier to live joyfully in the present.
But why does optimism matter? Optimism rocks when it comes to everything we experience in life, from our health, relationships and resilience. Its benefits cannot be overestimated. The attitudes we have today largely determine how things turn out tomorrow. We are the authors of our life. Our future is a self-fulfilling prophecy as was so eloquently revealed in the children’s book, The Little Engine That Could.
In the book, it is suggested that, optimism
- Is how we overcome unexpected obstacles
- Is an essential part of helping others in need
- Is a great antidote to sadness
- Is available even to those who consider themselves insignificant
- Is empowering because it provides the energy needed to move mountains
In today’s world, there are many hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. As one parent stated, “I was raised in a home with an alcoholic dad. We were always one beer away from chaos.” Hoping for the best but expecting the worst was how he survived as a child, and this mindset persists and influences all aspects of his life today. The good news is that what has been learned can be unlearned.
The process of unlearning begins with a willingness and drive to adjust:
- Being honest with ourselves about the challenges we face
- Accepting the fact that our first thought is a negative one so do not dwell on it
- Substituting the first thought with a second thought of optimism
- Separating the past from the present by stating, “That was then, this is now!”
- Confessing the good stuff on a daily basis
- Putting ourselves in the company of the right people
- Committing to smaller adjustments until they are achieved before tacking larger ones
Soon, we will not only “Think I can” but we will “Know we can! And, that ju may be the difference that makes the difference.
Owner, The Fitzgerald Institute Of Lifelong Learning.