Your boss sends you an email before you arrive at work- “Can you come by my office when you get in?” Oh geez, you think- “I’m in trouble.”
Your spouse wants “to talk about something important.” Oh no! What did I do?!
Why is it that our mind is naturally programmed for the worst-case scenario? Helen Keller stated, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.”
The natural tendency to default our thinking into a state of fear and guilt is like junk food for the soul. It perpetuates a malnourished state of mind. What we put in, we get out. The thoughts we nourish, are the ones that grow.
Success is built upon a state of hope and confidence. We cannot break boundaries, push past limitations without an unyielding belief and confidence in what we are doing. So how do we break our junk food habit? Practice.
Turn your face towards the sun, and the shadows fall behind you. You will never find a rainbow if you are always looking down.
The art of nourishing the mind with optimism begins with appreciation. When we can look at the glass and realize that we are happy whether it appears to be half-full, empty, or filled to the brim. Technically, the glass is always full. If it appears half-full of water, it is half filled with air. If it appears empty, it is actually full. Our perception and assumptions inhibit our nutritional intake. If you want a healthy dose of nutrition for the soul, change your perspective.
Can we be overly optimistic? If in every situation we find something to appreciate, then no, as optimism is continually looking through an appreciative lens. A loss is an opportunity to improve and try again. A win, is not the end, it is the first step toward another achievement. Pessimism is seeing only the cloud; Optimism is knowing that the sun is behind it.
We can’t live on junk food. We must practice providing a nutritionally balanced diet to our soul. What we think is what becomes our reality.
It can seem like a daunting task to practice looking for the bright side and re-training your brain to think of a positive alternative to the unknown. It’s okay to think, “I wonder what they want to discuss with me.” However, if you have in mind something positive that you would like to share with them, instead, your attitude going in will definitely help you appreciate whatever news you receive.
There truly is no bad news. Some news may seem disappointing if you had an expectation or desire of a different result, but when you can find strength building food within the thought, the junk food is not a temptation.
Optimism has had a bad rap. It is not always being happy. It is appreciating everything that is thrown at you as an opportunity to say- “I’m not going to let this get me down. I appreciate a chance to be challenged, to improve, and to build confidence.
Optimism is the last hope for the defeated. Get out of the junk food habit. This week, think of something that did not go according to plan at some point in your life, that in the end was a blessing. Start by appreciating that disappointment. From there, focus on one thing you appreciate about this very moment. Hold that thought. Don’t let go.
Have an amazing week, appreciating that the glass is always full.
Jolene Church is currently working on doctoral research on critical thinking in organizational leadership. She is an accomplished motivational speaker, success coach, and the co-author of the newly released, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset- available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle or at www.successfulthinkingmindset.com . Her new book, The Boomerang Effect: Manifesting Your Dreams will be released this holiday season.
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.