Unbacked Optimism

How about I start this article by sharing a quote with you from Bruce Lee’s Striking Thoughts:

Fate without work is death.

After The Secret a book by Rhonda Byrne gained a lot of attention, the belief that what we think will help us become what we want has gained widespread notoriety. In all truth this isn’t a new idea and books like As a Man Thinketh by James Allen were already describing this idea. And in all truth Bruce Lee’s Striking Thoughts affirms this with another statement in another chapter:

Become what you think – What you HABITUALLY THINK largely determines what you will ultimately become.

This is most notably tied to the idea of optimism. Which is often what people think of when they are asked to change their thought patterns. That is a great idea for someone displaying nihilist behavior or plain pessimism, BUT ONLY if that individual is already putting himself out there and getting rejected for his bad demeanor will it be worth something. If you tell the nihilist or the pessimist to “brighten up” whilst he is not acting at all, he might switch camps, but that won’t make him happier. That’s where unbacked optimism does just as much personal harm as being negative and guilt-ridden.  The Tao talks about going beyond pessimism and optimism because ultimately they are two sides of the same coin; they are one. To grow potatoes all conditions must be met. You need to know about the seasons, about when it is optimal to pick them up, about how often to water them, about what kind of dirt and climate they thrive in, otherwise your crops will yield you fuck-all. The experience will certainly be instructive though(if you objectively evaluated what went wrong). Since you put in the work then your attitude and your response to what happened will be a key factor to your next step. Notice how no details are left to chance though. Everything is put to scrutiny. Living through those experiences unfailingly is the only way to guarantee success. Perhaps not physically, but psychologically being certain that we did it all, in other words, spectacular failure, will feel like a gain.

Let’s remember to consolidate our optimism by backing it up with real tangible actions. How often have I heard that holding a gratitude journal is beneficial? How about going a step further and telling someone we know we are grateful to them. And why not even go further and do some volunteering with worst-off citizens to realize our place and bring definite change. I do all these things and I will keep doing so, to the extent of my capacity. Those actions put a practical emphasis on living, my thoughts are backed and ready to break walls.

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