I was searching for something that was light and fun for a ‘Christmas Blog’ and then thought…actually Christmas is about more than fun…it’s about marking or celebrating endings and beginnings and change and involves a whole gamut of emotions. Endings can cause feelings of sorrow, disappointment or relief. Beginnings can cause feelings of trepidation, excitement and stress. Whatever the feeling, ‘attitude’ plays a large part in how we respond to our internal and external worlds. We can’t control events or feelings but we can take responsibility for our attitude and response to them. So…would cultivating a positive attitude, a sense of optimism help? Could this sustain you through life’s changes and transitions – for example graduating from university and securing relevant employment in this tough economic climate?
The Chambers Dictionary defines optimism as ‘a disposition to take a bright, hopeful view of things’. If this seems unbalanced and unsustainable, a little too ‘Pollyanna-ish’, consider the opposite; is an individual better able to cope with transition with ‘a disposition to take a dark and fearful view of things’?
The Optimist’s Creed is a set of principles which are secular, and yet parallel the Christian ethos of the Christmas festival that many of us celebrate at this time of year. I think that most people are optimistic to a degree but perhaps there is value in becoming more so. See if there are one or two principles that can guide you or inspire you or maybe you’ll be surprised by how optimistic you already are.
I promise myself
- To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
- To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
- To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.
- To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
- To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.
- To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
The Optimist Creed was published in 1912 in the book: “Your Forces and How to Use Them” by Christian D. Larson, a prolific writer and lecturer who believed that people have tremendous latent powers, which could be harnessed for success with the proper attitude.