Optimists Whistle While They Work

Motivational concept with handwritten text TODAY IS YOUR DAY

Recently I spent some time at The Happiest Place on Earth. Strolling down Main Street, I encountered some pals of the lovely Snow White. Based on personality type, three of these characters reminded me of individuals we alI know.

Three Personality Types:

Happy, the dwarf providing laughter and adding joy to the lives of the others, is easy to love. He is the personification of my optimist friends who consistently find the good in every situation. An optimist excels at positive thinking and knows tough times won’t last. This admirable characteristic is worth emulating. Granted, finding the silver lining amidst stormy dark clouds is not always an easy feat,

Create Your Sunshine

but if you work hard enough, it is doable. In addition to creating a sunny persona, optimism promotes an aura of peace, increases patience and helps develop resilience in the face of adversity.

The polar opposite of the endearing Happy is the formidable character Grumpy. Easily irritated by the troop, this dwarf is argumentative and prone to finding fault. Labeled a pessimist,

crazy monster

we all have experienced and typically avoid individuals possessing the Grumpy personality.

The Huntsman is the realist in this fantasy film. Chartered by the jealous Queen to lure Snow White into the forest and kill her, he realizes this task clashes with his moral code. Bottom line, our Huntsman urges the fair maiden to escape. Who can fault realistic people? They often take a zero expectation stance. Much can be said for keeping your expectation level in check. It’s like entering life’s stage in protective armor. You cannot get hurt or disappointed if you expect nothing from a situation. This quality helps eliminate an individual’s need for kudos and constant appreciation. Realists do their best and that’s where it ends. They to not measure success by how many likes a post gets on Facebook, or the number of “atta-boys” tossed their way.

Perhaps a large segment of the population are realistic-optimists, a scientific term I just made up. (Smile). Individuals possessing this personality type know success is far from effortless. Planning carefully, and working diligently at achieving set goals, realistic optimists go about their work with a upbeat attitude.

Whether you fall into the realist camp, the optimist group, or somewhere in between, beware of pessimistic tendencies. Negative thinking spirals into lethargy and depression. According to Web MD and other medical experts, attitude matters

Beautiful blond girl jumps over green grass

when it comes to your health. Studies reveal pessimists are more likely than their counterparts to suffer from diabetes, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So this week, take a lesson from the Disney gang: Be happy, mix in a large dose of reality and experience pleasure in your journey. And, if possible, follow Snow White’s sage advice.

“When hearts are high, the time will fly, so whistle while you work. “

Cease Thinking: If Only

Motivational quote on rustic background HAVE BIG DREAMS

I have a friend I call “If Only Eloise.” Of course, her real name isn’t Eloise, and to be honest with you she is not exactly a friend. My last conversation with Eloise consisted of a litany of laments. It went like this, “If only I had completed my master’s degree, if only I stayed with my second husband, if only…well, you get the picture. Not only is “If Only Eloise” focused on the past, she seems never to conjure up a positive memory.

As I listened to Eloise drone on, I visualized smashing a rear-view mirror into a zillion little pieces, sweeping it up into a container and burying it deep in the earth. Obviously her self-imposed stress was having an unpleasant effect on me.

sad girl with a sad smile drawn on paper

I wanted to reach out and shake this woman who was intent on wasting precious time by ruminating over the past.  When she paused to breathe, I tried a little tough love technique of mine and then suggested she start living in the present.

Sometimes we all fall into an unhealthy “if only” pattern. Meditating on your failures not only adds to your stress level, it drains you of energy and diminishes your self esteem. If you find yourself agonizing over the past, I have some suggestions. First, what could you do to remedy the situation?

Do you owe someone an apology? If so, graciously and sincerely ask for forgiveness. If that ship has sailed and you have no recourse, begin by forgiving yourself.

Next, absorb the lesson learned. We all make mistakes; however, the real danger is, making the same mistake twice. So, take a step back, analyze what you could have done differently, vow to never repeat that action and move on. In the process, cut yourself some slack, treat yourself kindly and hold yourself in love.

Banish any nasty negative voices in your head

crazy monster

by turning your thoughts to positive endeavors. Make an inventory of your strong points. If you must revisit the past, focus on your wins.

When you feel anxiety regarding past mistakes creep in and spill into the moment, stop and center yourself by taking several slow deep breaths. Pull air deep into your diaphragm. Use this breathing technique to slow down your thoughts and rid your mind of negative intrusions.

Lastly, throw away your rear view mirror. Unless it is attached to your vehicle, it is not a useful tool, only a distraction.  Got the picture? Now proceed to dream big, live well and make the most of each moment.