Happiness for Dummies – Chapter 5, Optimism

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Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pessimist would pick half empty, while the optimist would choose half full. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, we’ve heard about the power of positive thinking and optimism, or the “glass half full/half empty” mentality.  But, I didn’t really know all of the ramifications of having the half empty mentality.  It’s almost self-sabotaging.

Dr. Gentry provided a list and examples about optimism and the benefits of being optimistic, including the fact they are less likely to be compulsive gamblers (which I found quite interesting).  He also noted optimists set more goals to achieve, they reach for the stars, they are more confident.  I have to comment on this one.  Only recently have I started to have confidence.  Somewhere along the line I felt I wasn’t good enough.  How about you?  Does lack of confidence and optimism bring you down?  Dr. Gentry noted optimists solve problems better.  I always lived by a mantra that there’s a solution to every problem, but that’s not always what I followed.  You?  As you can see, it’s easy to go down the drain quickly and lose your optimism.  And there’s 2 pages of the bullet points of pessimists vs. optimists!  A few more…  Optimists are not quitters and welcome second chances.  Each day we wake up with a clean slate.  A chance to start over.  A land of new opportunity!  One more I’ll throw out there.  They’re not as lonely as pessimists are, and are more socially outgoing.  Interesting. . . this goes for relationships and meeting members of the opposite sex.  I’ve been blessed by having my husband for 24 years (and counting!), but so many people state “there’s no good ones out there”.  That definitely portrays negativity and pessimism as opposed to positivity and optimism, which eliminates opportunity.  Definitely something to consider, right?

Dr. Gentry included a quiz entitled “how optimistic are you”.  It’s interesting to read the questions and get the score.  If you are interested in this, I’d suggest purchasing the book and doing the quiz.

On p. 67 Dr. Gentry noted our futures are a self-fulfilling prophecy.  “The attitudes you have today largely determine how things turn out tomorrow”.  This one was good, too:  Can’t never could.  He noted if you believe you can’t do something you will find a way to make sure you can’t!  “The more you think failure, the more you fail – in school, at jobs, in relationships”.  (p. 67).

Did you ever hear the statement, “having a heavy heart”?  Dr. Gentry described a study of 1300 healthy men that found pessimists had 2x the risk of developing heart disease over a 10 year period compared to optimists. So not only does optimism lead to a healthy mind, it also leads to a healthy body.

Dr. Gentry noted any pessimist can unlearn – we may have become what we are due to circumstances, and sometimes our beliefs are a defense mechanism.  I know that was me.  We can all change — hence this timetoplay project.

Learn.  Get the tools you need.  Change. Bring optimism into your life. The world is beautiful.  It’s time we all see it that way.

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Embrace the www.timetoplay.com philosophy — you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  It’s time to enjoy life!  Check out www.timetoplay.com for resources for a better life.

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