Optimism is an attitude that sets us up for life success by helping us focus on what works and how we contribute to what works. Optimistic people have more fun, are healthier and achieve more of their potential. Optimistic thinking is a skill that anyone can learn. In this easy-to-use book, Lucy MacDonald shows you how to harness the power of optimism to help you create a more positive, upbeat attitude to life.
This book contains 20 specially devised exercises such as journaling, visualization, affirmations and simple physical exercises. With its foundations in scientific principals of cognitive behaviour, this book will help you to plug into the power of optimism, improve your health and create happiness for yourself and for those around you.
With simple exercises, you can learn to be more positive. Author Lucy MacDonald explains how YOU can achieve it
‘If, as a result of working through this book, you are able to cultivate a more positive outlook, the rewards you will reap will be huge. You will be happier, more successful, better equipped to tackle challenges, and it is likely that your health will also benefit. I cannot offer any failsafe guarantee that this book will teach you to become an optimist, but I do know from personal experience that optimism is an attribute that can be learned.
For I have a confession to make. I am not an optimist, at least not by nature – my default mechanism is pessimism. My pessimistic nature is part of my genetic heritage. I have, however, learned to become optimistic, and now I am a convert to the power of optimism in my daily life.
As a counsellor in private practice, I have the honour of witnessing the optimism and courage that my clients display as they struggle to deal with life’s challenges. Invariably, those who are able to find some tiny thread of positivity in difficult situations manage to hang on until the tide changes and they are able to experience happiness again. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: those clients for whom pessimism is the modus operandi find it so much harder to recover from their troubles. Only when they develop a more optimistic outlook are they truly able to regain their equilibrium. It is not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.
The process of writing this book is my latest lesson in the power of optimism. We most often teach what we need to learn. When I was approached to write a book about optimism, my spirits soared, then crashed. I felt honoured one day, scared to death the next. After thinking about it, I told my husband that I was going to turn down the offer – I was not capable of completing such a task. “You can do this,” he told me. “Just take it one day at a time and, before you know it, it will be done.” Mr Optimism delivers again! Throughout the writing of this book my optimism skills, such as persistence and self-motivation, were put to good use. It would appear that I am destined to be a life-long student of optimism.
I have learned to become optimistic, and so can you. This book is designed to enable you to put in place the pillars of an optimistic attitude and to integrate optimism into your daily life. Throughout you will find a variety of exercises that allow you to practise the many aspects of optimism. Some of them are suggestions that work for me; others are based on the research of psychologists, such as Martin Seligman, who specialize in optimism. There’s nothing particularly complicated about the science of optimism, but sometimes the most obvious things are the hardest to see.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. – Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993)
My wish for you is that optimism becomes your constant companion – a fine companion indeed.’
Lucy Macdonald, M.Ed., runs her own practice as a counsellor, specialising in stress and anger management, emotional intelligence and the power of optimism. She is a member of the Canadian Counselling Association, president of Canada’s Private Practitioners’ Network, and a well-known speaker throughout Canada. You can visit her website www.lucymacdonald.com