Monday Morning Coffee | April 5, 2010


"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."
- James B. Cabell


"The glass is half-full." "The glass is half-empty." "Looks like a beautiful day!" "I think it's going to rain." "I'm happy." "I'm depressed." "I'm an optimist!" "How can you be an optimist with things the way they are?"

OK, we all know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist - right? In some of Steven Covey's material, he states that "no one knows enough to be a pessimist." Pessimism, more often than not, is generated by inner fears, most likely fears "of the unknown." Hence, "No one knows enough to be a pessimist."

Consider the child about to learn the art of riding a bike. "I know I'm going to fall," proclaims the child - just before taking a skinned knee. After a week of practice, is the child still fearful? Once bike riding becomes second nature, i.e. once the child "knows" enough about bike riding, the fear (a.k.a. pessimism) disappears.

Just as the child's pessimism ("I'm going to fall...") precedes the skinned knee, our other pessimistic thoughts may precede our worst fears. By substituting a positive thought for a negative one, therefore, is it not possible that the action that follows might also be positive?

Add to that positive thought an extra measure of learning and knowledge, and it's highly unlikely there will continue to be room for either the pessimism or the subsequent negative action. From one optimist to another, heed this advice: "Don't worry - be happy!"

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