I lost my dad to cancer when I was a young boy. Consequently, during those early years, I wasted much of my time brooding and feeling sorry for myself… as if that were going to make life easier. What a joke. On the contrary… it just made everything worse. For the next five years or so, I practically dropped out of life as I became extremely apathetic and pessimistic.
As in my case, pessimism can be ingrained at a very early age by family and/or surrounding circumstances, but ultimately, it’s our responsibility as individuals to recognize its presence, understand its consequences, and excise it from our lives as you would a malignant tumor.
As adults, pessimism is pretty much a self-inflicted disease, which arises from low self-esteem, and is sustained by fear and pure stubbornness. When left to fester, pessimism slowly begins to totally control its victim by constantly reinforcing his weaknesses, fears, self-doubts and anxieties. After a while, everything is viewed through the filter of negativity, which leaves a very nasty residue… you guessed it… pessimism. Untreated, it will absolutely ruin your life.
You think that’s bad? Here’s the hell of it. In order to combat pessimism, or any other problem for that matter, one first has to realize there is indeed a problem. Well…you guessed it…pessimistic people don’t believe, or at least won’t admit, they are pessimistic. Thus… in their minds, they have no problem. Talk about a quandary.
I’m telling you… if you would have confronted me back when I was 13 years old, and told me that being pessimistic was ruining my life, I would have said, along with a few other choice words, that you were out of your mind. The truth was… things looked pretty dark from my perspective back then, and I sure-as-hell wasn’t looking for any light at the end of the tunnel.
Yeah, but there’s always that unannounced blessing trying to break through… that little ray of light if you will, just waiting for the perfect moment to flicker.
Even the most pessimistic fella has a good day from time to time. Yeah… and from this good day, a great attitude just falls in his lap. You know what I’m talking about. It’s one of those days when, for no apparent reason, everything seems to go your way. And out of the blue, comes this stellar attitude, handed to you on a silver platter. And the fact is… the more you pass it on to others, the longer you enjoy its fruits. It’s just almost impossible to be pessimistic when you’re having a great day.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could bottle it up and pour it out anytime you so desired? Well… why can’t you? Millions of people do it every day. You see… I refuse to believe that we can’t choose the life we desire. As a matter of fact, I’m certain we can… at least the vast majority of the time.
An attitude is a wonderful thing, because it plays fair. In other words… you get back exactly what you give… plus some. And for all you control freaks… it puts you directly where you want to be… in the driver seat.
Just as pessimism is self-inflected… so is its antidote… a good attitude. And further more… it’s contagious. Go ahead… get infected.
Test it out with something as simple as a heartfelt compliment. Give one away and see what happens. Don’t laugh. You never know what the person you’re giving it to is going through at the time. To someone who is having a rough moment… a simple smile and a word of encouragement could turn around her entire day. That’s quite a dividend for such a small investment… don’t you think?
Attitude trumps everything. It’s more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. ~ Charles Swindoll
Attitude is not an option… it’s a double edge sword which we all possess. The only decision we have is to decide which edge to use. As I said… pessimism is a self-inflected disease.
With this one choice, you have the power to decide what your world will look like, how it will feel, and in what amount it will give back.
You see, my world hasn’t changed. My dad still died when I was a kid. I still had rough times growing up, and I still made a lot of bad decisions along the way. If I wanted to, I could really blow your mind and throw in a few other obstacles, just for extra measure… but couldn’t we all. And that’s exactly my point.
It’s through this struggle we discover wisdom and lasting joy. This is why some who have had to overcome the most, appear to be the happiest.
The reality is… your world is full of whatever you decide you want to see, and how you want to see it. And your perspective, as well as your happiness, depends solely upon the attitude you chose to put forth.
Here’s the bottom line: No matter how difficult your life is or was… there are those who have been through worse… yet, have learned to be happy.
Pessimism is a force of evil which will do everything in its power to consume all your joy. It does it by occupying thoughts with half-truths, what ifs, negativity and fear. It robs you of your sleep and confiscates your energy.
I hate to end this post with tough love because, in many cases, it makes things worse. It can alienate. But here’s the way I look at it. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Love is love… so here it goes.
I personally don’t like it when others try to give me tough love, but on the other hand… when I give it to myself… it awakens me like nothing else can. I’m a little weird that way.
So let me put it this way. If you need or want to give yourself a little tough love… give the song below a listen. If it speaks to you… feel the love.
Thank you for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts. There’s a comment box below the video, if you wish to share a couple.
Stop the madness… Life’s too short.
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