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Windows of Perception Rationale
“The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor E. Frankl
No one knows what the future holds, and yet, we humans find it easier to make the challenging events of our lives symbolise and mean things that lead to the creation of negative and limiting feelings, emotions and beliefs.
The ability to give a positive meaning to any event in life is a great aid to being happy, and yet this is the exact opposite of what our minds normally do.
We normally create negative, disempowering meanings whenever things apparently “go wrong.”
However, if we are going to make up things about the future – a future that we may only guess the outcome of, at best we may as well come up with a meaning that empowers us, rather than limit us.
Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favourable and desirable.
A common idiom used to illustrate optimism versus pessimism is a glass filled with water to the halfway point – an optimist is said to see the glass as half full, while a pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
The term derives from the Latin optimum, meaning “best”.
Being optimistic, in the typical sense of the word, is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2018)
This is usually referred to in psychology as dispositional optimism, and it thus reflects a belief that future conditions will work out for the best (Oxford University Press, 2018)
What is the difference between a positive and a negative outlook/attitude?
- Individuals with a positive attitude will pay attention to the good, rather than bad, in people, situations, events, etc.
- Positive attitudes are rewarded – it means that the individual is encouraged to do the same thing in future
- Having a “positive attitude” means a person believes everything happens for the best in the end
- When we think positive thoughts we will surely experience emotions such as joy, love, gratitude, peace and hope
- It is an optimistic approach for a person to achieve good results
- It can achieve long-term goals easily and in time
- It is a process of solving problems
- Positive people always see opportunities
- A person with a positive attitude pays attention to the virtues of others
- People with a negative attitude ignore the good and pay attention to the bad in people, situations, events, etc.
- A person with a “negatives attitude” tends to believe their best days are in the past, there is nothing to “look forward to” and considers it a waste of time and energy
- When we think negative thoughts we will definitely have negative feelings such as anger, disappointment, irritation, envy, etc.
- It is a pessimistic mindset and leads to the incapability to handle critical issues
- It can achieve some initial goals but not the long-term goals
- It is a process of looking for problems.
- A person with a negative attitude pays attention to other people’s shortcomings
- These people see only limitations