Health Magazine

If You Must Pick and -ISM, Opt for Optimism

Posted on the 17 February 2013 by Fadi Bejjani @DrFadiBejjani

The world has been replete of "-isms" since the early 20th century which caused a lot of wars in their name: communism, socialism, fascism, nazism, conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, colonialism, imperialism, etc. Those will be with us a while and will take turns in making our lives miserable.

The other "-isms" that count on a more personal and societal basis are: egoism that essentially obliterated altruism by 2013;  collectivism that is slowly replacing individualism, monism taking over pluralism; isolationism long replaced exceptionalism and worst of all pessimism that is slowly but surely replacing optimism.

Buddha said that fortune changes like the swish of a horse's tail. There is often in people to whom the worst has happened an almosttranscendent freedomas they had faced the worst and survived it.

Practical definition: An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Dunkin reminds us daily: "Keep your eye upon the donut, not upon the hole." Heaven on earth is when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that is present.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to is about learning to dance in the rain. As classically illustrated in Singin' in the Rain (1952 musical comedy starring Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor), the rain brings good things to life (like the GE slogan).
When one door closes another door opens says the optimist. Another way to put it: "A quelque chose malheur est bon." ("Every cloud has a silver lining."

Optimism and positive outlook will affect the hypothalamus, mood regulator in the brain, and more dopamine will be secreted (the pleasure neuro-modulator). Pessimism would trigger serotonine, the depression modulator

The true optimist develops an attitude of gratitudeGratitudeis the key to be happy in life. If we are not grateful we will not be happy, no matter how much we have, because we will still want to have what we do not have. 
Who said there are no second chances? It maybe true that no one can go back and make a brand new start, but anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

The critical yardstick for optimism is whether you take things for granted or you take them with gratitude. Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all the others.
"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude"  Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher (1844 –1900)

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