Why I Now Call Myself an Optimist

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I don’t think there is an amount of money you can make that will make you feel happy and fulfilled. I’m sure that having money makes certain opportunities easier to attain but I don’t think that that is what builds happiness in people. I’m not convinced that you can find happiness in the attainment of a career goal or the commercial consumption of goods and services. I’m not sure that happiness is what we truly want. It might be. I’m just a guy at a computer I don’t know everything. I can tell you that none of my successes no matter how profound they seemed to me at the time ever brought me lasting fulfilment. They were just replaced by another goal. Another test to see if I am enough. 

I have been depressed and I have had many friends who have been depressed. A lot of them from high-income families. It was obvious to me that none of that distraught was money-related. Instead, I think a lot of their misfortune came from a desire to be somewhere or something that they weren’t. The reality of their situation seemed so different from the world that they existed in. When in this state their language changed to reflect a world that had too many barriers to climb. One that was fraught with the problems of the world. 

Did you know that you can only see what you’re looking for? You think you can see everything in your field of vision but that’s not true. Your brain doesn’t process all of the information that goes in. It only hones in on the specifics that you need to see to complete a task. For example, if you are in a cafe you have no idea how many chairs there are in the room. You’re focusing on the taste of the coffee or the conversation you’re having.

This is the case on both a small scale and a large scale. What you are aiming at in life will determine what you see and experience on a day to day basis. In other words, your life is what you aim at. It’s for this reason, I believe, that you need to take care in terms of which thoughts you choose to listen to. 

Your brain works in such a way that if you have a new thought it will create a neurological pathway. Imagine a water droplet on a block of mud. The first time the water droplet simply travels down the block in whichever way it can. The second time the water droplet will follow the pathway carved out for it. So too will it the third time and if the process continues so will the pathway deepen and strengthen. Your brain’s neurological pathways are the same. If you have a thought it will be easier for you to have the same thought over and over again until it starts to shape the way you see the world. 

So I use to call myself a writer. Now I call myself an optimist. Because I know how difficult it is to get out of a negative mindset and I know how much damage it can do to your life. I’m aware that when you start to think positively you strengthen that positive network until it becomes second nature. I know that the world is difficult and contains within it great suffering that can cripple you if you aren’t able to find the optimistic solutions to your problems. 

Your thoughts shape your reality. They shape the way you experience the world. Aim at the optimistic and the world’s opportunities will reveal themselves to you. I think it’s only through this conscious effort that you have a chance at finding something that resembles a happy and fulfiled life. It’ll never be perfect but it can always be improved. And that is the mindset of the optimist. 

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