How do you react to an overwhelming situation? Are you one of those people who throw their hands up and walk away a hot mess? Or are you one of those resilient people who don’t need a hiatus to get back on track?
The idealist in me compels me to be more like the latter and I like to believe I’m doing an okay job at that, but I also acknowledge there is more to just bouncing back from the curveballs life throws us than simply ‘staying positive’.
While doing my daily blog rounds today, I stumbled upon this gem about conscious optimism vs. lazy, pseudo-spiritual optimism that just about sums up the focus of today’s post. Of course, positivity is the very basis of optimism, but there are different ways to go about it.
In the author’s own words, unconscious optimism is “… woo woo positivity blanketing. Convenient denial.” You know, the whole thinking positive thoughts thing or chanting daily affirmations from some new age self-help books? Well that’s really only part of it all.
Now I’m not saying that positive thinking or use of daily affirmations is impractical or pointless because goodness knows how reliant I am on motivational quotes for getting through bad times. And it’s easy enough to log on to Pinterest and create your own little collection of quotes and images that can help you stay positive, but the problem with that is it is not an action-oriented activity.
I’ve come to realise that being an optimist not only requires positive thinking, it also requires a plan of attack for the obstacles faced. This is where the difference between conscious optimism and lazy, pseudo-spiritual optimism lies. One is “devoid of much action-orientation”, and the other is when we mindfully choose what our next step will be.
Here, this is the definiton of the type of optimist I strive to be more like, and hopefully you do too!
Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.