The Hopeless Optimist

” Your mind can either be your prison or your palace. What you make it is yours to decide.” – someone else on Pinterest

The first week of the year has come and gone in what feels like a blink of an eye. If you’re like me, this is usually the point where your cynical side kicks in to reassure you that this year will be just as shit as the last one. And you’ve probably got a point.

The past seven days have been far from life-changing for me. I’ve somehow managed to fall back into the same bad habits I tried to swear off and frankly , my motivation to keep up any of my resolutions is quickly dwindling. 

That’s why I think a lot of people are quick to judge the whole resolution-making process. The thought of being able to wake up one day , with expectations that you will be a whole new you is simply unrealistic. As much as we hate to admit it, unless you’ve somehow become amnesic overnight , the past is never left in the past ( *googles how to induce amnesia*). It’s always going to be a part of who we are. What happened last month, last year or last decade even , has contributed to your existence in this very moment. We are palimpsests of experience and time- changing who we are overnight , or even in a year,  is just as impossible as rewriting every ounce of our history.

In all honesty, I really don’t believe in the word change at all. When you think about it, it has such a negative connotation. You don’t change things that are working for you- you try to fix the things that aren’t. By expecting yourself to change who you are, is to say that you aren’t working for you- which simply isn’t true. You aren’t a leaky faucet or my broken love life – you don’t need to be “fixed”. What’s more likely is that its your current lifestyle choices, or environments or most importantly- your mindset , that needs some work.

Your goal in the new year shouldn’t be to become a completely new person- it should be to create a life that promotes reflection and growth , so that you can use the valuable experience of your past to help you become the best version of yourself for the future.

I’m not being naive though- I know that doing so is way easier said than done. When life keeps shitting on your parade, how are you supposed to find the strength or motivation to improve anything at all?

Not claiming that this will work for everyone ( hell, I don’t even know if it will work for me), but this year I’m going to try and remain as positive as I can be. 

There’s a whole field dedicated to what I’m talking about – positive psychology. The idea is that we focus on building our strengths and the potential within us , rather than focusing on the negatives. 

We may not be able to control all of the bad things that happen in our lives, but we can control how we react to them or think about them. Channel your inner Mr. Brightside and be more open minded. It’s okay to have hope, to believe that things might actally turn out good for once. The more you ruminate on the negatives , the more you will become a prisoner of your own mind. 

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5 thoughts on “The Hopeless Optimist

  1. “Your goal in the new year shouldn’t be to become a completely new person- it should be to create a life that promotes reflection and growth…” I definitely agree with this viewpoint! A thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

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