Monday, January 29, 2007


Iam an Optimist - What about You ???

Be an optimist, and in the right side of nature.

Look at the head you see a head, look at the tail you see a tail. Optimism and pessimism are both sides of the same coin – that is the viewer’s mind. From time immemorial people see events related to their life in these two angles (optimistic and pessimistic) and will go on viewing things like that. History is rife with personalities who gained fame, power and wealth with just one tool as their capital -with a special view point –optimism. Ordinary people amassed wealth, gained life partners they dreamt and won battles all with sheer optimism.

For Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, psychology is just the physiology of the brain and animal behaviors are just reflexes to stimuli. A particular reflex accompanied by some event forms a conditional reflex which in turn perks up the body preparedness like secretions of hormones etc to face the immediate event.

These reflexes as per Pavlov are of two types one “conditional” (also mentioned as conditioned) and the other “un conditional”. Conditional reflexes are those which are acquired from surroundings (parents and close associates in the case of human beings). The conditioned reflexes can be improved by skill or nurtured in the case of a child. Where as unconditional reflexes are in the genes and cannot be manipulated.

Optimism is a conditional reflex which is mostly acquired by children who are mostly copycats and parental responses to particular instance are absorbed by them. To say it plainly, parent condition their child’s thinking and behavioral pattern by implanting certain traits by name optimism or pessimism in to them.

When something goes wrong in the house, adults curse the fate and wail as if it is a permanent state of affairs. They take it as something which happens to them only. Such parents are sending wrong messages to their children, who will most probably behave in the same way when they grow as adults (wail and curse fate instead of planning and starting corrective steps).

Those parents who confront a problem, and see it just as a problem which needs to be solved are sowing the seeds of optimism in their children. These children absorb the message. When a crisis is a stimulus here positive action is the response children absorb the right message, (a positive conditioned reflex). Tearing hair and cursing fate instead, send wrong message to children (a conditional reflex that is negative). A child which grows up with a negative conditional reflex turns negative to any issue (stimulus) and takes its career graph in to deeper territories as an adult.

Optimism can be cultivated in a mind which had turned negative by unfortunate circumstances. Consider every crisis as a stimulus and analyze one’s own responses to it, check the mind from misleading oneself -by taking a temporary problem as a permanent one-. Lavishly praise oneself and those who stood along with after finding a solution or getting it settled (this can better done before and after thanking god! (God almighty needs no boost to his optimism). Celebrate the achievement and praise the roles each played for the gain.

Now and then rake up the issue and discuss the role played by each every in getting it fixed. This family discussion becomes a rehearsal scene for other occasions when yet another crisis raises it head (not only in families wherever there are collective living problems are bound to occur) and “problem solving committee” has to be there. A good rehearsal is not a bad idea to any good performance.

An optimist occasionally takes risk, at times lose money and at times he gain, but with the loss of money a lesson is learnt as the pros and cons of the deal is objectively analyzed. A loss is thus compensated by a gain. That is not the case with the pessimist (as a human being he also loses money) his loss is doubled by his guilt feeling that haunts him for being foolish enough to lose money (he thinks that the loss was due to his foolishness or un luck). “Error is human – I’m also a human being” never occurs to a pessimist.

The nature is biased towards the optimist because that is what it expect from its beings, when optimism boosts the body hormones and give him power to resist infections stand to gain the boons of nature by falling in line, unlearn any negativism that has crept in, it is possible. Optimists seldom falls to depression, rather they induce hope and goodness to all around. “Think of failure as the result of a faulty strategy, not some character flaw” said Prof. Martin E.P. Seligman


Paula Neal Mooney said...

Me too! I believe in trying to see the best in every situation.

Tisha! said...

Much agreed and if I wasn't so optimistic about finishing a doc I am working on for work I would give a more lengthy response LOL :))) Cheers

Randy Smythe said...

Life is too short to walk around with a half-full glass.

Randy Smythe said...

I must have been drinking too much. I meant half empty in my previous post.

Stefanie said...

I am an optimist sometimes, but other times realism is better...

TSN said...

NIce text!I agree with you even if reality sometimes brings me back on earth.Greetings