Posts Tagged ‘ optimism ’

Notes and Asides …. Life’s Reset Button

A dear friend came to see me yesterday (you might even say she’s like a daughter to me) and she said “Glenn, I wish life had a rewind button.”  That got me thinking.  There is no rewind button, what’s done is done,  but there is one that is almost as useful.  It’s life’s reset button. It’s the realization that yesterday is history.  It’s about letting go of the guilt and regret of missed opportunities or of things undone but still learning from it. It’s about giving a fresh start to someone important to you.  It’s hitting the reset button that allows you to get up each morning, view each new day as fresh start and another opportunity to do better.  It’s the reason I keep coming back to this blog and to writing.  It’s the notion that even if I’ve not done as well as I would have liked I can still come back and give it another shot. Maybe if I keep coming back to it enough times I will eventually get it right.  The beauty of it is anyone can do but you have to have the mindset that you can do better.  You just need to give yourself the opportunity and let go of those things that are holding you back.  I will admit that it sometimes can be difficult especially if you have dug yourself a pretty deep hole (and I have at times).  Often I’ve found it difficult to give myself that reset but I always do, which is why you are reading this right now (maybe).  Guilt and regret are powerfully destructive emotions.  They are assassins that conspire to robs us of our peace and happiness.  Don’t let them.  HIT THE BUTTON NOW!


Goal Setting……

If you been following this page in recent days you know of my intention to change my outlook on life.  I am sick of being a pessimist and am trying (what did Yoda say “do or do not.  There is no try”, anyway) to be more optimistic.  Permit me to digress for a moment.  There is a group of men who gather for coffee at my Starbucks each morning.  They are all self-made men and extremely upbeat.  I call them the Optimists Club.  So I am going to them for lessons.   Lesson number one, apparently, is to identify one, three and five year goals.  Now I am a HORRIBLE goal setter.  I have never been good at it.  But you gotta do what ya gotta do, right?  So since I hear that it often helps to publish ones goals here goes:

One Year Goals:

  • Save $1,000 (this is a lot based upon what I make)
  • Write 60,000 words (I mentioned this one before)
  • Make at least three of the books I read this year histories (I don’t read nearly enough history)
  • Improve at chess (not sure yet how I am going to quantify this)

 Three Year Goal:

  •  Write a book

 Five Year Goal: 

  • Get paid for writing

 “They” always say goals should be challenging but achievable.  I think I have done that.  Saving $1000 may not seem like much but I don’t make that much to begin with and I have never been great at saving money.  Writing 60,000 equates to roughly writing 250 words 240 times.  That WILL be a challenge but as I’ve said writers write and if that is my path, and I believe it is, then that is what I have to do.  I read about twelve or so books a year so dedicating three to history is a worthy goal.  I have always been fascinated with the game of chess but am horrendous at it.  I would very much like to improve.  Not sure how I am going to quantify this one and maybe it does not belong on the list.  But it’s my list not yours so I can add what I want!    

 Anyway, there you have it.  I will occasionally report on my progress.  I also do not intend to totally devote this space to my personal “issues” with optimism and pessimism.  I will return to more interesting topics soon.

Pessimism Doesn’t Work…….

Can I share a little secret with you?  Pessimism doesn’t work.  Pessimist’s like to say we expect the worst but hope for the best.  The trouble is that IF the worst happens you won’t feel any better about it even though you expected it.  Let me tell you when I first learned this truth.  It was when the Mets played the Yankees in the World Series.  I’m a Mets fan but did not expect them to win.  When they ultimately lost the fact that I didn’t expect them to win didn’t matter a bit.  I was still extremely disappointed.

 Conversely, if the worst does not happen then you have made yourself miserable for nothing!  One of my heroes Thomas Jefferson said:

 “There are indeed  gloomy and hypochondriac minds, inhabitants of diseased bodies, disgusted with the present, and despairing of the future; always counting that the worst will happen, because it may happen. To these I say How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened?!”

The great American writer Mark Twain put it this way:

“I am an old man and have known a great many
troubles, but most of them never happened.”

This is not to say that we should become Pollyanna’s but to keep life in perspective and remind ourselves that good things can happen.

Pessimism doesn’t work.  It only makes us miserable.   So why bother with it?

Pessimists Anonymous…….

Hi my name is Glenn and I am a pessimist.  A recovering pessimist I hope.  I said a little while back that everyone who knows me knows that I am a pessimist.  Well I just can’t do it anymore.  I am sick of the negativity.  Sick of being afraid to look forward or to look back.  Besides being a pessimist has gotten me nowhere.  OK maybe it got me to the point where I don’t want to be a pessimist anymore. 

I read recently that being an optimist or a pessimist is at least a partial choice.  Even if you where born a pessimist you can still choose to be more optimistic. At this juncture I will freely admit that this talk of conversion is easy because I am generally in a good mood.  The problem is going to be those days I am in one of my darker moods and I would just rather not.  Like writing everyday day changing your outlook on life is  something that takes work and effort (and remember what I said about sometimes being a bit lazy?).

I am serious about this though.  So along all the other things I will write about I will now, be from time to time, be updating you on my journey towards becoming more optimistic.  My name is Glenn and I am a pessimist.