Why be half empty when your life can be full?

Are you the type of person who typically views the proverbial glass of water in front of you as being half-full? Do you frequently wonder why the cards in the deck of life have apparently dealt you a bad hand? Do you suppose that because of a family history chart littered with a pattern of health issues you are predestined to a troublesome and unfulfilling life? I wish to speak to those who slow themselves down by carrying around a heavy load of pessimism. Pessimism is like unto a cancer. Initially, it might be almost undetectable. Nevertheless, silently it grows inside of you. If not discovered and treated quickly, it will utterly destroy all of those happy, hopeful, and optimistic cells in your body. “Your perspective can either be your prison or your passport. Your perspective will either become the thing that confines you to the way things are, or releases you into the way things can be!”–Steven Furtick

To you negative, self-defeating, highly self-critical, cancer stricken patients of pessimism I declare that “There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who think hopelessly.”–Windred Newman I immediately challenge you to plant a positive thought in your head. It, too, can grow as you feed it. It’s really not as difficult as you think. “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side!”–unknown The effect can often manifest itself instantaneously. An optimistic person is easy to pick out of a crowd. So, don’t think wearing those cool shades will serve as a clever disguise. I’ll recognize the change in you. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”–Helen Keller With daily nourishment in the form of definitive, personal affirmations, that tiny seed of optimism will bloom. Your mental outlook can be transformed. You may soon become a glass half-full personality. The word optimism is, of course, originally derived from a Latin source optimum, meaning “best”. Cultivating an attitude of happiness and a spirit of optimism is the best approach to life. “Don’t be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and more fully enjoy the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. Accentuate the positive. Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eyes and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life!”–Gordon B. Hinckley

As a pessimist, you made a conscious decision to have a bad attitude. Difficult circumstances not withstanding, it was a choice! We all have struggles and trials. The optimist chooses to maintain a positive outlook in spite of those challenges or obstacles. An optimist is blessed with greater opportunities by giving greater effort. A pessimist misses precious opportunities that are offered for he or she doesn’t even see them. An optimist always gives his best effort and trusts that somehow, someway, someday things will all work out. A pessimist is more inclined to give a half-hearted effort due to a complete lack of faith in the future. Both can be highly contagious. Misery does love company, after all. But, wouldn’t you want to be the reason that someone else chooses hope over despair, abundantly living over woefully existing, that passport to peace and prosperity over the personal prison of pity? I think that you do. “We need not feel that we must forever be what we presently are.”–Marvin J.Ashton

Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose a positive attitude this day with your whole heart. This is good news, isn’t it? The message is that you can triumph over that “stacked” deck of cards you’ve been focused on so intensely. The message is to be not afraid of what others, even others in your own family have experienced. You can overcome a real or perceived predisposition for failure. You are not here to fail! Speak this truth to yourself every single day! Consider that “The enemy doesn’t attack apathetic people. He doesn’t have to because you’re sabotaging yourself.”–Steven Furtick  I leave you with words that have brought me great comfort. I share with you one more message which years ago enabled me to make the transformation from a pessimist to an eternal optimist. It is found in the 16th chapter and 33rd verse of the book of John in the New Testament. The Lord said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

What more could I possibly add?

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Stick to it.

Peanut butter has a delicious tendency to stick to everything on the inside of your mouth. Lint seems to want to cling to your clothes. Certain tunes have a habit of getting stuck in your head. Body fat has an unkind tendency of hanging on to various parts of your physique. On the other hand, you have a difficult time adhering to an regular exercise routine and a sensible approach to eating. While other things seem to be able to stick to you quite naturally, why does it appear so unnatural for you to stick to these lifestyle essentials? Many people the world over ask themselves the very same question when the struggles to hang on to healthy habits persist.

Hopefully, I can offer some reassurances that you may yet pull yourself from these sticky situations which disrupt your steadiness. The mistakes of the past often deflate the air from your wheels of wellness. Those times where you may have felt as if you have taken a step backward can actually prove to be for your good. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”–George Bernard Shaw  It is easy to preach no matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up, but hard to stay committed. You need not let this trouble you any further. “Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty. It’s been said that opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”–Thomas S. Monson  So, I will preach again. I encourage you to keep getting up, keep getting dressed, keep showing up, and most especially keep working no matter what. “Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you.”–Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Habits are not formed in a day or a week, but you lay the foundation for them each day and each week by working at them with a sincere desire and real intent. “Stick to your task until it sticks to you. Beginners are many, but enders are few.”–Thomas S. Monson  You can be an “ender”. You can be numbered among those who endure the vicissitudes of life. So, with a catchy song stuck in your mind pick up where you left off. The next time you get stuck in a traffic jam and are munching on a spoonful of peanut butter ponder the wisdom in these words by Will Durant. “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do.” Have faith that you will repeatedly choose the right.

photo credit: NIAID Peanut ButterToast via photopin (license)