Thursday, April 2, 2009

If You Want To Blossom, You Have To Plant A Blossom

(Unlikely berry patch, Scotland, 2007)

There is a great article in Time magazine this week about positive thinking. It's no shock that it cites studies which show that looking on the sunny side of life really does affect your health in the long run.  
(Children at a Tibetan orphanage, 2007)

What is surprising, however, is that some experts don't suggest being optimistic. It appears that being wildly hopeful and seeing the glass as relentlessly half full is what positive psychologists call being "cheerfully deluded."

Instead, they recommend "optimalism", a combination of optimism and a healthy dose of realism. Optimalists are not people who believe everything happens for the best, but those who make the best of things that happen.

(Prayer flags at Dalai Lama's palace, Lhasa, Tibet, 2007)

I so agree with this. I've always had an issue with the whole "everything happens for the best" concept...because it doesn't. Bad things happen to good people, a lot of good people. Life is freaky. Accidents happen. At times, we struggle.
(A determined bee, Sussex, England, 2007)

Having said this, wallowing in sadness does nothing but entrench you more firmly in a quicksand of depression. You have to find a way out. Apparently, happiness is "contagious." Scientists have noticed that people who smile in their Facebook pictures tend to have other friends who smile. 
(Tibetan monk on pilgrimage, Lhasa, 2007)

Go check your Friends list.  It's true. :)

10 comments:

Tavarua said...

Brilliant Post - I agree - and I am smiling....

ArchitectDesign said...

does a half smile count? I am a forced optimist always looking for the sunny side (despite growing up in a very pessimistic house!)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I could not agree more. I am naturally optimistic, but it is foolish to deny the authentic hardships life often bestows.

However, I do try, everyday, to make each person with whom I have contact feel just a wee bit better for having wandered through my life. Sometimes just with a smile.

Bart Boehlert said...

Am trying to be an optimalist :)
BB

Tricia said...

Everyone but 3 of my Facebook friends are smiling, and all 3 non-smilers are men! What do you make of that? Are you conceding power when you smile? Is it a feminine trait? Those guys. I'm going to get them to change their pictures if they want to be a friend of mine!

C.T. said...

Wow, that was a great article. The PRP-way works definitely for me. And yes...(I checked) the majority of my FB-friends do smile on their profile pics. Ha!!

pve design said...

Do you see me BLOOM!
I am blooming (smiling)

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa - As my pic shows..I tend to be optimistic.

Now do I get sad? Sure. Especially after my father passed...I kept waiting to be "over" the grief until someone told me that I needed to accept it, for it will be around for a long, long while.

smile

Meg said...

I really enjoyed this post; your attitude and perception of lifes events most certainly shapes the type of life you lead :)

Style Court said...

Lisa, I'm with you on this all the way. Optimalism over optimism.

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