Value 4 – Optimism


This group of posts are meant as inspiration and motivation for you to work on making your values and goals achievable. Sometimes we want something for ourselves, but we set the bar so high that we strive all our lives and never seem to be able to reach our goals. I don’t want to spend my life striving for something that I may reach when Im 80 when I can change the wording and enjoy reaching it everyday. I’ll tell you how.

I don’t know if it is only common in Denmark to always expect the worst outcome possible? Some even call it being realistic and make a great effort trying to make us, the optimists, turn the volume down and consider all the pitfalls as well. We are often called dreamers and considered a bit naïve, because we choose to focus on the bright side of things.

Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? In Denmark most people would say that they got out of bed with the wrong leg first. I wonder which leg is the wrong one. hmm. On these days you might start out cutting yourself on the bread knife or spilling your coffee on the newspaper or something. Later on, you forget your keys, miss the bus and right there, you’ve got the avalanche rolling. The whole day seems like a disaster-magnet and very often the accidents get worse and worse throughout the day and you return home (after paying the locksmith way too much for opening your door) exhausted wishing you hadn’t even left your bed in the morning.

Do you wanna know what I think happens?

Im not going to wait for your answer, but I assume you want to know since you’re here reading this. I think that on those days you let the events around you shape your focus and your mood. When you cut your finger on the knife, you curse at yourself and say something like ‘…I am always so clumsy’ or ‘….why am I so stupid and careless?’. Once you’ve said that (or thought that), your brain will start trying to help you figure it out. That’s when you drop the coffee. Again, you get even harder on yourself and might even make angry sounds at yourself even though you’re alone. Your focus is on these two small accidents and you keep thinking about them all morning which results in your brain forgetting the keys …and so on.

Something interesting happens on the mornings where you cut your finger and laugh at it. Smile and say ‘woops that was deep’ and put a plaster on it. Quite remarkably, your coffee stays in its cup, you remember your keys and catch the bus. You might remember the small cut later in the day when your finger feels a little sore or the plaster falls off, but you don’t focus on it. Instead you focus on the lovely smell of coffee in the morning, or the sun shining through the window. The nice bus driver who held the door open for you or whatever else makes you feel good.

I live my value Optimism whenever I look for the positive side of things, whenever I believe in myself and laugh at myself, and whenever I remind myself that everything is perfect just the way it is. 

Optimism is not only about taking chances and hoping blindly that your new idea will make you rich or famous. It’s a choice you make all day. You can decide how to experience every little thing. I agree that some days it can be harder than others, but since I started practising this consciously, I have had only good days. There is always something to be grateful for. Even on the toughest of days.

I am alive. I can reflect. I feel. Awesome!

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