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- What is optimism?
is not the same as "positive thinking."
- The benefits from
- Techniques for
What is optimism? It is the belief
that our future will contain factors which we value. Optimism has
- Thoughts. We think that our future will be pleasant.
- Imagination. Our fantasies depict favorable conditions.
- Energy tones. We feel hope and excitement regarding our
- Actions. We act as if the desired conditions will occur; e.g.,
we attend classes to prepare for the job promotion which we
believe that we will attain.
Optimism is not the same as "positive
- Our perceptions.
- Optimism. We perceive adversity but we believe that we can
- Positive thinking. We tend to deny the existence of the
adversity as we gaze "through rose-colored glasses."
- Optimism. We believe that we will pass a test for which we
are have studied.
- Positive thinking. We hope that we will pass a test
for which we might or might not have studied.
- Optimism. We work toward our dreams, because we believe
that we can achieve our dreams. Because we acknowledge that
failure is a reality, we don't become overconfident and we
don't "trust" that everything will automatically come together
for us; instead, our optimism gives us a general boldness while
we "cover all bases."
- Positive thinking. We tend to be physically passive;
instead, we try to control events through "magical" thinking,
as though the thoughts alone are capable of manipulating
The benefits from
- Optimism allows motivation. We are more likely to take action
toward a goal if we feel that it is attainable. In contrast,
pessimists don't even try.
- Optimism maintains our momentum despite the inevitable
failures. When we experience failures along the way, we don't give
up easily; tenacity is essential when we encounter setbacks
setbacks on the way to an reachable goal. We learn from the
setbacks, and then we try a different approach. In contrast,
pessimists give up, and they succumb to depression and apathy.
- Optimism can help us to sustain a mental focus. We can direct
our thoughts toward constructive problem-solving, instead of
stagnating in the distractions of pessimism and worry. (However,
we could be equally distracted by optimistic fantasies of our
- Optimism provides an expansive field in which the ego can
function properly. We are giving permission for the ego to work
toward our goals. In contrast, pessimism cripples the ego's
operation by giving implied instructions that its natural goals
are not to be attained.
- Archetypal field-work.
Intuition. Intuition can guide us toward goals which are
likely to be attainable (because they are supported by the
dynamics which are perceived by intuition); therefore, our
optimism is well-founded.
Self-image. We can be optimistic about success only if our
self-image says that we tend to be a successful person.
Recognition of positive patterns. We sustain our optimism by
discerning a pattern of success in our life; i.e., every
experience is either "a success" or it is "a learning experience"
(in which we "successfully" learned information and skills which
will increase our possibility of success in the future). We
acknowledge our failures for just enough time to learn from them,
but then we return our attention to our successes, and we study
the pattern of success by which we are increasing our knowledge
and abilities. In contrast, pessimists see a pattern of
failure, so they cling tighter to their cynicism as a way
of avoiding disappointment; they don't anticipate success, so they
are less disappointed when it doesn't happen.
Faith. Optimism tends to be a reliance on our own abilities
and the general goodness of human life; faith employs a larger
viewpoint -- that the universe itself is based on principles of
fairness and abundance.
Material preparedness. We don't rely on mere "wishful
thinking"; instead, we perform the tasks which make those wishes
more likely to manifest themselves. For example, if we are
optimistic about our future financial security, we back up our
optimism by opening a savings account, and studying for a better
- Self-talk. For example: "Life is good." "My happiness will
continue into the future." "I accept responsibility for my
future." "Things work out well because I do whatever needs to
be done." "Good things happen to me."
- Directed imagination. We can visualize ourselves in
situations where we are successful and happy; for example, we
imagine ourselves living in the home which we expect to buy
- Energy toning. We cultivate the energy tones of hope,
enthusiasm, self-confidence, pleasant anticipation, etc.
- The "as if" principle. We act as if the desired conditions
are already occurring; for example, we are optimistic that we
will be able to afford a new car, so we visit dealerships to
look at the cars.
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