Friday Fodder – Optimism

Once upon a time…

Blake and Jake were 9-year-old identical twins whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. They were opposite in every way.

Jake was bright, happy and future-focused. He saw opportunities everywhere and always looked for the silver lining.

Blake was doom and gloom. He brooded a lot, anticipating the worst.  He spoke in terms of “always” and “never,” dramatically complaining and exaggerating his plight of being a victim of circumstance. 

At Christmas, their father decided to experiment – just to see what would happen. He loaded Blake’s room with every imaginable toy and game. In Jake’s room, he left a huge pile of horse manure.

On Christmas morning Blake was found surrounded by his new toys, crying bitterly.

“Why are you crying?” his Dad asked.

“Because my friends will be jealous. Now I have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff. I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will all eventually get broken.” He moaned.

Down the hall, their Dad could hear singing. He went to Jake’s room and found him dancing for joy around the pile of manure. “What are you so happy about?” he asked.

Jake squealed, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.”

– Ralph Marston

Moral of the Story:

Optimism is joyful searching; pessimism is a prison of fear and a clutching at illusionary safety. Optimism inspires, energises, and brings out our best. It points the mind toward possibilities and helps us think creatively past problems. Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A word of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough. It’s not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.

It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you lighten up and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humour in everyday life. And sometimes that simple step can be a lifesaver. Your attitude is like a box of crayons that colour your world. Constantly colour your picture grey, and your picture will always be bleak and boring. Try adding some bright colours to the picture by including humour and gratitude, and your picture begins to brighten up. The best thing to do when you find yourself in a hurting or vulnerable place is to surround yourself with the strongest, finest, most positive people you know. May that be easier for you this festive season.

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”

– Noam Chomsky

Affirmation: I rise above negative thoughts and low actions.

I trust myself to make the right decisions. I have all the tools and abilities I need to succeed. I am learning valuable lessons from myself every day. I am the architect of my life; I build firm foundations and choose the contents. I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy. I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and I choose to peacefully detach from them. I allow myself to be who I am without judgment because that is what is going to allow me to be happiest in my life. Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas. My ability to conquer challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite. I make a difference in the world by simply existing in it and doing my part to make it a better place whenever I can.

“The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision.”

– William Arthur Ward


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