Optimistic Thought and Its Impact
‘If you can dream it you can do it.’
Apart from being necessary, optimism is also a survival skill. We live in a world full of challenges and setbacks and in order to be at the top of our game we have to have a positive outlook in life. For many optimism is a truism—often regarded as a cliché repeated without feeling or conviction—but for those who take mind matters seriously, optimism is a skill, a craft that should be learnt, cultivated, and practiced.
Thinking More about Thinking Positive
Thoughts are our reflections; they are articulations of our mind and, needless to say, are diverse, topical, and ever changing. Thoughts are also negative and/or positive and all of us have experienced both types. Since a well-executed action always gives credit to a thought or a series of thoughts, it is time we recognize the centrality of this. Thoughts precede action, and good/positive thoughts will bring about positive actions. Closely related is optimism. For many this is more than positive thinking, it is a way of life. We endorse this. We believe optimism is a craft that can be learnt and its outcomes can be, in a way, summoned. What many call ‘positive psychology’ is an aspect of Neuro-linguistic Planning (NLP) that carefully practices optimism as a methodology.
In NLP optimism is understood as a concept; it is first studied at a behavioural level and then broken down to be studied at smaller stages which covers steps ranging from what it is, how to get there, and how to keep at it.
Laws of Attraction: How Things Multiply
With due attention being given to the inner, mental world, a number of concepts have surfaced. Similar to cellular functions in our body, our thoughts are also just as potent, constantly multiplying and gaining strength. A basic law of attraction is that everything likeminded will come together. Whether it be children forming play groups or professionals forming teams, it is the cause that fundamentally binds people together. In our lives, despite the increasing number of digital advancements to increase communication and outreach, many a time we feel alone and our thoughts are all we have. Few will read this as a statement of hopelessness and despair, few will read it as a fact and move on, and few will see it as an opportunity to connect with the self and regard the respite as a relief. This is just one minor example. Our lives carry numerous such instances where we are in control of choosing what we wish to believe. In other words, we are in control of what we think.
Optimism and Success: A Close Connection
Every success story has a positive trigger, this is a universal fact. Be it the CEO who became a monk and now spreads messages of love and compassion or the enterprising vegetable seller who owns a chain of delivery services, each story is inspired by positivity or, better still, a perspective that chose to rise above the situation.
In our experience, being physically healthy is just one side to the story; there are many more. While no one contests the inevitability of negative thoughts, what we advocate are the methods by which one can overcome them. The moment we recognize that lethargy, exhaustion, anxiety, etc. are physical symptoms signalling a deeper problem, we take the first step in resolving our issues.
Semantics of Optimism
Best understood as hopefulness and confidence despite factors that may result in a contradictory outcome, optimism at times also ties up with a certain kind of foolishness and/or escapism. We at Mind Matrix recognize this as an important distinguishing factor and use NLP to study its smaller components. We also recognize the associated emotions—clarity, awareness, knowledge, happiness, satisfaction, etc. While optimism is a belief in the vested positivity in ones actions, foolishness is the inability to grasp a situation well. The two should not be confused to mean the same thing. Assessment and risk measurement are just as necessary as taking the action and then believing in it. Hoping to clear an exam without preparation is foolishness, not optimism.
How Optimism Impacts Our Everyday Lives
Many a time we get clients with similar issues, but with radically different attitudes. Vis-à-vis financial trouble, while some come with a broken spirit a few come with an open mind hoping to understand what went wrong. With NLP, one of the things taught is the ability to deconstruct a situation and then rebuild it, but this time with calibrated thoughts, awareness, and deliberation. The procedure once laid out is repeated till the time it comes ‘naturally’.
Imagine the difference if we responded positively to a tough situation on a routine basis. Trying situations such as traffic jams, more irksome than we would like to admit, or unmet targets at the workplace are assured ways of getting worked up, but with NLP we can overcome these by consciously, mindfully staying optimistic.
The Aftermath of Optimism
In our endeavour to provide solution and the ways in which it can be manifested, we tend to underplay the associated or the secondary benefits. Optimism is one of those states of mind that brings with it a host of positive ‘side effects’ such as confidence, gratitude, and savouring. Here is how:
- Confidence, essentially, an affirmation of the self from the self is an assurance that we are on the right path.
- Gratitude, also a state of mind, speaks from a place of contentment and peace.
- Savouring reminds us to pause and enjoy the moment and be in the moment. Perhaps the least understood, this is one of the most effective ways of rewarding the self and reminding that our goals are worth achieving, our toil worth the effort, and the results worth fighting for.
One of the ways clients are taught to stay optimistic is by reminding how they were, what they felt like the last time they were successful. Was it from a place of misery and strife or was it from a place of joy, abundance, and peace? The answer is unanimous. These are the coordinates of optimism and unlike most other things, optimism remains static—just as rewarding, happy, and positive.