Life is not simple. However, we are often told that it is. Modern consumerism offers a quick solution for every inconvenience. An increasing stream of gurus have†profited†from the claim that life can be, and should be, an effortless affair.
The misconception that life is simple seems to have made us less of a match for life. Our ancestors trekked across the steppes and savannas. They knew they were constantly in danger.
They didnít know life could be anything but challenging. Our reality consists of hospitals, insurance policies and benefit payments when things go wrong. The welfare state has strongly influenced our expectations, but it doesnít preclude bad things.
Every religion and philosophy of life teaches that the meaning of life lies in our response to the challenges we encounter. Our life lessons are the essence of our existence. Thatís why the way we face those lessons is so important. Optimism turns out to be the most promising and fulfilling strategy, because the optimist accepts reality and then does something about it.
Powerlessness is the root of pessimism. We are all born optimists. Who has ever met a pessimistic 4-year-old? A child who fell on the playground and, after having her tears dried and the scratch on her knee bandaged, decided never to run again? Those children donít exist. Children get up, try again and keep laughing, even through their tears. Every child has the instinctive intelligence to keep trying. Young children donít feel powerless.
But for adults, optimism and persistence go hand in hand. You canít find answers or solutions if you arenít prepared to keep searching and digging. At the same time, you canít find them if you donít first accept the truth at the deepest level. Thatís often a painful process. Optimism isnít always fun and happy, and it has nothing to do with rose-colored glasses.
55 Reasons to Be Optimistic
Optimists live longer. * In fact, weíre all living longer. * Optimists experience more and more fully. * Optimists travel more often and more widely. * The world keeps getting richer. * More and more children are attending school. * Weíre getting smarter. * Optimists do better in school. * Optimists are better at sports. * Optimists more often make the right decisions. * Optimists are better at business. * Thereís more democracy. * Thereís less slavery. * Thereís less racism. * Thereís less gender discrimination. * Optimists are healthier. * They have better immune systems. * Theyíre less likely to catch colds. * They suffer less from depression. * They have a lower risk of heart disease. * They breathe more easily. * Sick optimists get better faster. * Optimism has a positive effect on overall health. * For that matter, weíre all becoming healthier, all around the world. * Weíre growing more and more food on less and less land. * We have more food at our disposal than ever before. * And our food is healthier, too. * Optimists bring out the best in themselves. * And the best in others. * Optimists are more social. * Optimists maintain better relationships. * Optimists make other people feel worthwhile. * Optimists inspire others. * The number of optimists on our planet keeps growing. * Optimists are less fearful. * Optimists are open to new experiences. * Optimists are more stress-resistant. * Optimists are more resilient. * Optimists are more successful. * Optimists have an awesome favorite magazine. * Innovation keeps growing. * We have more access to information. * Weíre giving more to charitable causes. * Housing keeps getting cheaper. * And more spacious.†* Cars keep getting cleaner. * We have more free time.†* Thereís less crime. * And less war. * And less violence. * Optimists are surrounded by happy people more often. * Optimists enjoy life more. * Optimists are happier. * Optimism moves you forward. * Optimism moves the world forward.
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