Optimism isn’t always the best route to takeBy Syed SharifNov 09, 2016
Throughout childhood and on into young adulthood, most are taught that it is good to be happy and better still, optimistic. We often expect that a positive outlook on life leads to a path of success. Yet there are moments in everyone’s life when happiness can be hard to find. It is during these moments when people question whether they are living life to the fullest, and whether they can find true happiness at all. These are also the moments when it might be beneficial to seek professional training for guidance towards a realistic path to a fulfilling life.
Reasons against consistent optimism
- Optimism, at times, blinds us to reality: All around us are advertisements showing the perfect family, all with perfect smiles, living the perfect life. Living up to these advertisements can be unattainable since, if we face it, they are actors playing parts. If we rely on positive affirmations to counter negative thoughts or situations, it is likely that we miss out on what we should learn from these experiences. What trained professionals instead do is provide realistic perspectives, that are backed up with years of experience and research, for an eventually better path in life.
- We lose an appreciation for the troughs: Most people tend to filter out the negative stuff, focusing only on the positive. As with gravity, in which what goes up must come down, every positive has a negative. Understanding and embracing this truth of life can help to ease the struggle within, and release the vision that everything must be perfect. While it is generally appropriate to have a positive outlook on life, it is also okay to accept, and even embrace, the troughs that help us gain invaluable lessons.
- Miscalculating risks: Being overly optimistic often encourages excessive imaginative thinking that may cause individuals to miscalculate costs and risks that are involved in the situation. To make sound decisions, we should maintain an objective and rational standpoint.
Instead of optimism, we recommend courses that facilitate personal growth. So many times people are much harder on themselves than any friend or loved one could ever be. Many people are afraid to admit that people could be right, that maybe they are a good cook or maybe they do have a beautiful singing voice. This fear, at times irrational, paralyzes people into thinking that they can’t possibly be as good as what others say. Learning life skills to grow personally can help to have a much better outlook on life in general.
While the path through life may not always be paved with rainbows and flowers, with professional help, it can certainly be paved with happiness and good intentions.