A Lamp Full: Optimism

We are the creatures of our thinking. We can think ourselves into defeat or
we can talk ourselves into victory.  Gordon B. Hinckley

Do you know this family? They are the ones who are not allowed to play outside in the mud because they might get dirty. They can’t step into the house until mom has bathed them in Purell. Mom is tired and haggard because she stays up until 2 am every night spraying every surface in the house with Lysol. You also notice that they are sick more often than any other family in the neighborhood. Their kids are always on antibiotics. They can’t afford a family vacation because their medical bills are through the roof! Maybe you know them. Maybe you are them!
My family? Not so much. And guess what! We are rarely sick! The home I grew up in was no laboratory. I don't remember ever being told to wash my hands (that's not to say that I never did). We also knew that we were not allowed to get ill, so none of us ever did. Of course mom didn't make being sick any fun as we had to stay in our boring old rooms until we were better. That alone made staying healthy much more satisfying.  I have taken the same ideas into my own home and as a result, my kids hardly know what a doctor is. And certainly not a hospital! I do not know the reason for this exactly. I expect it has to do somewhat with a generally healthy constitution and certainly a diet in real food. But I also wholeheartedly believe that those most afraid of illness are those who get ill. Our mind has a huge impact on our bodies.
Don’t roll your eyes at me dad. It is really true. :)
When we allow ourselves to be tired, it happens. When we say, "No, I have things to do today," we are much more alert. Our mind plays a big part in whether or not we get ill. Placebo pills prove that.
I know a family who when one child gets sick, so does the whole family. That is so strange to me, or would be except that every time the first kid starts puking, all of them say, "Oh no! Now we are all going to get it!" And not surprisingly, they do.
When one of my kids gets a rare case of sick, I never plan on the rest of us getting it. In fact, I forbid it. They do not get a chance to participate in a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.
Did you know positive people live longer? 7-10 years longer, in fact, according to the Mayo Clinic. And even if you don't get the opportunity to live longer, wouldn't you rather live better?
I love what I read in an article recently.
  • People who believe they can't-don't
  • People who believe it's impossible-never succeed
  • People who believe they can't win-lose
  • People who believe life isn't worth living-die
(Phil F. Faris, How to Live Longer With a Positive Attitude)

And Guess what? People who believe they will get sick-do! I have absoluely kept a cold at bay, simply but telling it no! (Along with a few other homeopathic, old fashoined, tried and true cold remedies.)
Is optimism a choice? It absolutely is. Admittedly it is easy for me. I was born with it. It is one of my gifts. But it can also be learned, practiced, and mastered.

Where can you start? 
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It sounds simplistic, but if every time you feel like you can't, you replace that with "I can." Eventually you will believe it.
  • Surround yourself with positive people! The things you hear over and over are what you will eventually come to accept as truth. 
  • For those who pray, do it! Ask for that gift to be bestowed to you.
  • Finally, optimism is often linked to gratitude. It can always be worse... I promise. Read about the first step to gratitude here.
We can not borrow optimism from another. We must have our own lamps full so that we can succeed and live happy, fulfilling life. How have you overcome negative thoughts and feelings?



  1. So many great posts at UNITE this week about hope and optimism~! I love it! Thanks for linking today! ~ Jen

  2. I really like this thought process. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

  3. I know for me, praying about a situation is a sure-fire way to change my attitude about it. Thanks for this good reminder and for linking up with us!

  4. I had a friend who was always afraid of her daughter getting sick, so she kept her away from people as best she could. Her reasoning was that "Every time she gets sick *I* get sick."

    Her husband told me that if ever her daughter threw up, his wife would immediately start throwing up and telling him she felt sick, even if she felt fine minutes before.

    When her daughter started school she missed A LOT of school because she just seemed to get every illness that was out there, because she was never around kids a lot before then.

    My kids got the flu and colds as they got older too, but this gal really DID seem to be sicker than most and she missed more school than mine did.

    Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

  5. I love this post! Yes, you can learn optimism. It's harder for those with a negative first reaction, though it can be learned.

    I'm having so much fun reading your posts for Motivation Monday!

  6. hmmm... Going to think on this! I have been sick more often this year than ever before... maybe I need a change in attitude, somehow! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope to see you again today!