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Optimism is a powerful choice that is at the root of your prosperity. The reason is simple: optimistic people are healthier so they can act on opportunities. This was supported in a recent study that found optimistic people were significantly healthier and happier than those who were not optimistic.

But the most important part to remember is that it is a choice. I know from personal experience that this is true. When I was younger it was very fashionable to be pessimistic to the point of being cynical. The reasons for this are complex and important to understand. The facts are that until I learned to change my view to optimism, I was more frequently sick and unable to see or act on opportunities that could have changed my life.

Understanding why people choose to stay stuck in pessimistic attitudes is a good starting place. As with all behavior, there must be a perceived benefit or people would not choose it. Probably the most fundamental benefit is that it allows people to avoid responsibility for their reality or their failure. Or at least that's the underlying belief. After all, if the world is fundamentally against you, then it's not your fault that your life is difficult. It can be blamed on a wide range of external forces that you have no control over. This strategy works provided the people around you don't understand the mechanics of manifestation.

For those who have moved towards self-actualization, it is clear that you create your reality by the choices you make. When people around you don't give you a waiver for the difficulties in your life, you can't get handouts and welfare. When the people in your life push you to be responsible for your life, you are forced to take action to change your life and succeed. For many young people, a pessimistic attitude has served them well, getting teachers and parents to give them what they want. The reinforcement of this pattern results in pessimism being a default setting in people's lives. This is seen in cultures that have relied on welfare for multiple generations. So how do you break out of the pattern?

  1. You have to want to break out of it. This usually only happens when a pessimistic attitude stops providing the benefits that someone once got from this behavior. It often happens when people lose their safety net and have to create their future.
  2. Some people come to it by studying successful people who are masters of manifestation. ("Think and Grow Rich" is a great book for stimulating this awareness.)
  3. Others are brought up by parents and educators who teach this information from an early age. These are the lucky few.
After you have the realization that you are the creator of your reality, the next step is to maintain a positive outlook. Here are some pointers to help you stay optimistic.
  1. Surround yourself with optimistic people. It's very difficult to be optimistic around pessimistic people. They will actively attempt to make you pessimistic. Why: Because they know that you are going to change and improve and it will demonstrate their lack of ability to succeed.
  2. Surround yourself with optimistic media. So much of the media is biased towards generating fear. I lived without a TV, radio or other mass media like magazines for about 10 years. During that time my optimism increased and I was successful at changing my perspective. I also became keenly aware of the use of fear in all media, particularly advertising. Just look at a series of ads and ask the question, how are they using fear? The message almost always shows that you will fail (to be attractive, smart, wealthy or healthy) unless you use the product.
  3. Surround yourself with positive images and sounds. Pay attention to the pictures or view that you see and the music that you listen to. Is it uplifting, healthy and focused on success or is it about loss, hardship, and pain?
  4. Actively write about your vision for a perfect future and break it down into the next steps that will move you closer to what you want to achieve. Next steps are the most powerful way of staying positive because it keeps you focused on what you can control.
  5. Know that just because you are optimistic does not mean that there will not be challenges or obstacles. While hiking in the mountains I realized that the people who get to the summit in the best shape are the ones who enjoy the challenge of exertion, not the ones who only have the goal of getting to the top. They actually thrive on the challenge or stress of fighting gravity to make it up to the mountain. Every step is a victory. Because each step is a victory they are propelled to the summit by thousands of victories.

By understanding and following these concepts, you can have more of what you want in your life. You will be healthier which will give you the energy to act on the opportunities that others don't see. As with all things that are powerful, it's really simple.

I look forward to seeing you succeed on many levels.

Kris Stecker, President Spa Tech Institute

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