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  • Sue Ann Cordell

An Amazing Life Requires Optimism


Half Empty or Half Full?

There are two ways of looking at life. Through the eyes of a Pessimist or through the eyes of an Optimist. People can look at the same object or situation, and come to completely opposite conclusions. When someone hands you a glass that has been filled half way, do you say, “Oh, this glass is half empty and I’m very thirsty. How will I quench my thirst with so little to drink?” Or do you say, “Wow, this glass is half full, but there is still room in the glass for some ice. I think I’ll sit back and enjoy a refreshing glass of iced fruit tea!”

According to Loretta LaRoche, Science has proven that people with an optimistic attitude tend to live longer and have a stronger immune system. In her book, Life Is Short- Wear your Party Pants, Loretta goes on to say that optimism appears to be a natural antidepressant and mood enhancer. Optimists expect the best – while pessimists usually think that if something can go wrong, it will. Some of you may naturally lean toward pessimism. But whatever your nature, the ability to bring an optimistic attitude to life can be taught and enhanced.

Sometimes optimists are perceived to be “pie in the sky” individuals who go through life believing that all they have to do is think positive thoughts and their problems will disappear. This is an inaccurate way of looking at life. This isn’t optimism. It’s insanity.

A true optimist wakes up thinking, Anything could happen today – good or bad. And whatever happens, with God’s help, I can deal with it.

Optimists know that there are bad things that can happen. They don’t ignore the pitfalls, but rather, understand that they exist – and then choose not to obsess over them. If you were to feel an unfamiliar lump on your body, what would you do? An optimist will immediately make an appointment with a doctor. Then go about their business – staying engaged in day-to day activities, and thinking through the possible positive outcomes of the discovery as well as the negative ones.

A pessimist might use the discovery as an opportunity to stop engaging in life and begin to obsess over how their life is about to end and how things never go their way.

It is easy for all of us to get caught up in the pessimistic way of thinking from time to time. Like everything that we combat in life, having a positive outlook takes practice. No matter what you are facing, if you look hard enough, you will find some good that will come out of it. Even in the hard times, you can find ways to focus on joy, fun, and humor. Recalling things from the past that brought you great pleasure can ease the pain of the present.

I classify myself as an optimist. Is my life perfect? No! But I have learned that if I will look to God for guidance, wisdom, and discernment, He gives me the strength I need for each day and the hope I need for each tomorrow. He provides rainbows, laughter, comfort, friendships, and anything else that I need to make it through. These things are always there, I just have to look for them.

If you are having a hard time seeing the glass half full – it’s time to realize that you aren’t in control. Once you accept this realization, it can be quite freeing! Here are some things that will happen right away….You will love to laugh again! You will love to live again! You will love to love again!



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