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How to remain an optimist in this crazy world?

Edvard Kadič. (Photo: Demokracija archive)

by Edvard Kadič

COVID-19, this is closed, that is closed, against wearing masks, for wearing masks, against vaccination, for vaccination … at times we seem to live in a completely crazy world. I myself do not know if this world is really crazy or not, but I know that it is very easy to become negative, condemn everyone around you and blame the government for your problems, or the Chinese, or Trump and Biden or somebody or something else.

Unfortunately, we live in times when it is really hard to be optimistic at times. If we listen all day only to criticizing and moaning  of the people around us, one way or another it will affect us as well. However, this does not mean that we have to become pessimistic and see only bad things in everyone and everything. In fact, it is more important now than ever to remain optimistic, to believe in a good ending, and to set an example to both children and other people around us that it is worth living and believing that this world also brings good to all of us.

Interestingly, science also supports such thinking. Several studies conducted on the topic of the link between optimism and illness have already shown that the risk of e.g. cardiovascular diseases is significantly lower in optimists than in pessimists. In other words, if we see the world as good, we will be healthier in the long run than if we see it as a bad place.

None of us is born an optimist or a pessimist, it is a choice. Interestingly, even the great Einstein once said that probably one of the most important human decisions in life is to decide whether life supports him/her or hinders him/her. It is therefore a matter of choice whether we will see the glass half empty or half full. Of course, I agree that at the end of the day, it is just a glass of water, but it matters, nonetheless, how we perceive it.

Life is, in a way, a single large set of decisions. We can spend the day typing on the computer and playing on social networks all the time, or we can cultivate a garden, tidy up the garage or read a book. We can decide what we are going to do and in a sensible way we can also decide whether we will be positive or negative. Essentially, being optimistic starts with deciding to be optimistic and not with a miracle.

For starters, let’s start avoiding negative people. You have heard of “toxic” people, right? People who literally drain your energy? These are people who believe that everything revolves only around them. The easiest way to protect yourself from them is to set your boundaries very clearly and occasionally even avoid them or at least reduce the number of contacts with, for example, a negative relative from whom we come completely exhausted every time, despite drinking only a cup of coffee or tea together.

No one is denying that negative things happen in life. Denying reality does not help us at all and excessive optimism can be just as dangerous as pessimism. However, we must understand that optimism is primarily about trust, that somewhere in the future there are positive answers and that we are able to achieve a state of happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment in life.

So let’s be positive and share this attitude with someone else. We are not “Nutella” and not everyone feels good around us right away. However, if could make someone’s day better, at least for a moment, we will feel much better as well. It also helps if we practice gratitude. In fact, it is hard to be an optimist at all if we do not feel at least a little grateful for what we are, what we have, and the people that surround us.

Finally, a very concrete piece of advice that sounds a bit cliche and almost worn out. Let’s write down our goals in life, immerse ourselves in them every day for at least a few minutes, and imagine ourselves as if we have already achieved those goals. Let us not be embarrassed or ashamed to think big. Let us allow ourselves to transcend the boundaries of everyday life for at least a few moments a day, let us allow ourselves to step out of this world that we understand as our reality. Everything will pass one day, including the gloomy atmosphere. By thinking big, we will help ourselves and our lives so that it will know where to take us in the future.

Edvard Kadič is an expert in communication and personal development, a lecturer, trainer and consultant in the field of personal charisma.

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