Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I wish I were an optimist.

I'm so impressed by some of my blogging friends that I wonder if I'm not some kind of dullard. I suppose I am. One of the things that separates them from me is their optimism and their positive attitude. They seem to have no worries in the world. And I wonder why I'm not like that.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm a miserable wretch. I just see life as full dangers and impossible to understand events. The dangers don't bother me personally. I've lived a long time now and I've about seen it all, experienced a lot of things I don't care to discuss. I've had a lot of happiness as well as sadness. I've know success and failure. But I have a hard time understanding why bad people seem to win most of the time. Am I wrong in that view of things? I don't know. It's just the way I see it. Yes, bad people often come to an unhappy end in the end. But, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they just seem to win and win and win. Maybe they're not really bad people. Maybe they're good people who make the most of a bad world. I just don't know. Like I said, I don't understand.

Why is it that most of the great artists--writers, painters, mucisians--lived pretty destitute lives while the mediocre thrived? Am I right in that, or am I misinformed? I don't want to ramble on. I just want to know what other people think. I love to read the blogs of the optimists. It actually makes me feel better to read them. But why am I not able to become an optimist? It just isn't me. I've tried. I've read The Power of Positive Thinking. I've read many books on self-improvement, from Depak Chopra to Wayne Dyer. I've studied Hinduism, which seems to be the source of positive thinking, and some of its off-shoots, some of the positive-thinking religions. Nothing works. I am what I am. I keep seeing the negative side.

Isn't that sort of what yin-and-yang is about. We're a mixture of all opposites. To be heavily one or the other is to be out of balance isn't it. Maybe it's a slightly stronger leaning to yin or to yang that makes the difference. Maybe it's just a matter of degree. 51% yin and 49% yang is all it takes to be dramatically different from 51% yang and 49% yin. It's all such a mystery.

Please let me know what you think.


Juliana L. Brandt said...

Gosh- interesting post, Richard, especially your ending thoughts on yin and yang. It's baffling to me how different we all are. I like to think of myself as an optimist, but that is certainly not the case all the time.

Kamille Elahi said...

I love this post so much and I sympathise with you completely.

I've always been a miserable person and it seems that everyone around me seems to be doing better than me.

Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Sometimes the opposite happens but mostly I find it's just like this.

I've come to the conclusion that life sucks like hell and that instead of worrying, I might just sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch myself fail.

I think some people are optimists/pessimists due to a survival instinct. Of course, optimistic people are more likely to fall harder than pessimistic people since pessimistic are least likely to take a chance and jump and would rather walk down a staircase than jump from the top of the tower.

I wish I was an optimist. They seem so happy don't they?

Clarissa Draper said...

My husband constantly complains that I'm a negative person. I say, "I'm not being negative, I'm being realistic." That being said, I suffer from depression and I'm not taking anything for it. I fight it with writing and forcing myself to go in public. I think everyone asks those questions and maybe we, as writers, do so even more. I wish I had the answer.

Tanya Reimer said...

My thoughts are that you'd better never change. I love your attitude. You're real. Your writing is real. It's nice for a dreamer to know real people, really it is.

My wise aunt told me that we reflect what we feel inside. If we're a mess, our lives are a mess, if we're happy, our lives are happy- regardless of what comes our way. This means if we're real, we see the world as it really is. Be proud of that.

Li said...

You're not alone. And I suspect that there are bloggers who "put on a happy face" when they post, or use blogging as an escape from the world for a while ( I do that by writing fiction). One of my favorite sayings is "Yes, there's a light at the end of the tunnel - but it might be an oncoming train".

Jeff Hargett said...

Always remember that blogs are like clothes. They're meant to be seen. We post our best just like we dress our best because that's what people see and, for good or ill, people judge based on what they see. No one really knows what lies just beneath the surface.

I do try to maintain a positive outlook because there's just too much that's not positive ready to offset it. Maybe that's my way of finding balance.

We are who we are. Perhaps changing who we are isn't as important as striving to be better than what we are?

Donna Hole said...

I'm a "glass is half empty" kind of person. I view the negative first, then work my way to something positive. Takes a lot of effort sometimes.

The nice thing about blogging is nobody can see how long it take me to come up with a decent, positive post at times.

Being "real" isn't a bad thing in my opinion; its just life sometimes.


Sun2Shine! said...

Interesting post.
As far as art goes, I think it was a thought from Dorian Gray...that those who experience life usually don't write or paint perhaps the great artist suffers because he/she is seeking perfection and happiness in their art since they never find it in life..and those that do well in life, well they don't really need to express that in art.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Richard, at times I wish I were an optimist too, because many times I succumb to self-doubts and unwanted pressures. I don't think I am a negative person, just too realistic.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Richard .. I'm glad I'm on the positive side .. but if we think negatively or think about the challenges of others we don't actually help ourselves - because our mind is dwelling negatively all the time. I just don't think of difficulties - I have them, but I do know that I'm in so much a better place than so many in this world - that pulls me back to reality.

Even looking around me here - I have much more going for me than many .. so I focus on the smiles and my advantages of life. I just simply don't do negative - yes it comes up, I keep it to myself ... occasionally it slips out!

I just simply don't worry about it - look after yourself .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Maybe its the left side and the right side of your brain in constant battle with other. Each competing for superiority and influence over you.