learned optimism

learned optimism


The Consolation of Reliable, Positive Values

positive values November 30th, 2017

Sigh. I entitled this blog what I did because I am having a difficult time of it at the moment. My dad did die this year. And Trump did ascend to power this year. But $hit has really been hitting the fan, as they say. Today, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor have been caught in the thorny bramble of bad behavior. I was also a bit shocked by Louis C. K., Senator Al Franken, and Representative John Conyers. I look around and institutions seem to be tarnishing, crumbling, under attack, and failing. It feels like we are more divided and that there are more dangers than I am comfortable with. In this blog, I will try to make sense of my angst, and use reliable, positive values as a consolation. 

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The Power of Positivity, Optimism & Enthusiasm

positivity October 21st, 2017

Hara Marano, in a Psychology Today article, notes that psychological researchers seem to feel that human beings have a pull toward the dark, upsetting, and disturbing: a “negativity bias.” Perhaps indeed our brains are wired to focus on, feel, and resonate with negative events such as slights, insults, and crises. It is probable that positivity feels good, but negativity really engages the brain to mount coping mechanisms. Well, so be it. The fact is that overcoming that negativity bias and engaging in optimistic thinking, glass-half-full mindsets, and hopeful action are better for us. Gratitude and mindfulness are better ways of being. Just as eating too much food or prejudice are remnants of our evolutionary past, but are not typically helpful in our modern age, having a negative attitude and “sweating the small stuff” probably isn’t as adaptive or functional as “the power of positivity.” Herein you will find many inspirational quotes about optimism, sanguineness, and positivity.

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Values: Access Your Potential, Find Success

values September 14th, 2017

There are certain values you hold which can make your life better, more fulfilling, more meaningful, more helpful. Starting right now you can be greater.

Yes, greater is not a superb word. I could have also written “more x” or “more y.” In the spirit of this post, I won’t belabor this point. Whatever it is that is possible, you have within you the potential to be more like that later today than you are right now. That is an incredible kind of potential. If I were a religious man, I would use the word awesome to describe that possibility and the feeling associated with the insight.

In this blog, I want to share some unpleasant things about myself, and then console myself. Hint: my values are the key.

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Quotations on Optimism and Hope

quotes on optimism February 27th, 2017

Optimism is a way of viewing the world that is positive, hopeful, and open. There are many quotations on optimism that are inspirational and enlightening. Hope is a somewhat less-assertive and features less personal agency, if you will. For example, an optimistic person will be positively expectant about future events, the world in general, and the self; they basically see the “glass as half-full.” Hope is similar but somewhat more passive; for example, hope that one lives when battling a terminal illness, or hope that there is a God who looks down favorably upon oneself. These nuances are differentiated by the typical phrases we hear: “I’m optimistic I will finish the marathon because I have trained a lot and I feel good” vs. “I hope the plane that went down was not the one John was on!” In nonverbal terms, optimism is cracking one’s knuckles, and hope is putting one’s hands together to pray. This blog presents a bit of background and many interesting quotes about the subject.

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