When the research was done on the happiest people, it was found that these are not the people who had all situations in their favour, who always won, who had less of pain and hurt in life.
In fact they were those who coped well with the negative incidents they had to deal with in their life.
We all get our share of positive and negative experiences. What makes a difference is how we interpret these situations and how well we cope.
As that line in the poem says you could make the best or worst of things that happen to you. “As a stumbling block or a stepping stone”
Let’s say for example – you fail a course and you have to repeat the year. Being optimistic in this situation doesn’t mean that you’ll say “oh I’m so grateful this happened”
No not that.
Being optimistic in this situation is “oh okay. this is bad, I understand. but what can I learn here? what new learning strategies do I need to implement? how can I get better? what’s the positive here?”
Now this may not come naturally to you in some situations. For example you had a severe accident or a rare illness, it’s not easy to be optimistic here. The situation is very painful. But if you look for something positive in this situation maybe you’ll find some things.
Research has been done on people facing struggles in day to day life due to particular illness. But it was found that patients who were optimistic coped well and were also found to have speedy recovery rates.
It’s not always easy, it can be difficult at times. But having a benefit-finding attitude helps.
So how to do that?
Let’s say you got rejected by someone you like.
What will be your immediate thought –
will it be – Oh I am worse, no one is every going to say yes to me….
Or something similar to this,
Then think about it. Is it really true? Think rationally. Try to frame it in a more positive light.
Well… No. One rejection doesn’t mean I am bad. It’s okay if he/she is not interested in me. I know there are other kind and loving people around. Of course I’ll find someone…
This is how you change your self talk. Your thinking.
Think about the causes of your failure as temporary and something that you can change. Believe in yourself.
When Thomas Edison was asked about the invention of light bulb, considering the fact that he had failed so many times, he said –
I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Edison was a optimist.
But see what he does here… He doesn’t say – okay.. so I’ll be optimistic about this. Okay the lightbulb will be created… idk when.. but let’s see. I am positive.
He makes efforts. He is willing to try again and again to get it right.
That’s the thing about optimists, they don’t just think things will be better, they believe in their ability to make things better.
Life is not always a smooth ride. But when you hit a bump (setback) it’s helpful to see what you’ve learnt from the failure and believe that you can make the situation better and be positive that eventually everything will work out.