How to deal with optimism thieves

Good news, Kanti is losing weight.  We have no proof yet, no visits to the vet scale.  I make the statement because the fellow who wears Kanti-googles in our house is convinced the dog is looking more svelte, and who am I to argue with optimism?  Optimism is life fuel.  We all need some to be healthy, happy, and whole.  Truth is I think she looks slimmer although I do have moments of doubt when I wonder if she is just shedding her heavy winter coat.

Have you ever noticed when you are trying your hardest to be optimistic there are thieves waiting in the wings to lay waste to your fledgling thoughts?  Some people will claim they are inherently optimistic and others will deny they have any optimism at all, as if optimism was discrete and not continuous.  I see optimism as life fuel, necessary for our wellbeing and influenced by the things we put into our tank.  We make choices daily that either add to the optimism in our tank or deplete it.  One of the most important choices is who we choose to spend time with and the second most important is the words we allow to linger in our heads.

Oh, I can hear the chorus, it starts with "yes, don't have to work with, you don't have to live with, you don't have to..." True, I just have different optimism thieves in my life than you.  Everyone encounters them despite what you might believe looking in from the outside.  You see, optimism thieves are wily.  They watch us carefully to discover our weak points of entry, capitalizing on our fears, envy, and jealously. They listen for clues to unlock our motivations and our needs.  Their primary reason for being is to rob us of our joy.  Our best defense against their mercenary ways is a great offense.  Sorry about the overused sports cliche but it is true.

So how does one burglar-proof their optimism?  Get to know yourself.  Honestly identify your weak points of entry.  Chances are you already know your optimism thieves, you just haven't implemented a great offence yet.  Figuring out the patterns is the first step in launching your offence.  Watch out for those who feed fear and extricate yourself from their influence.  Remind yourself of all you are capable of and never stop moving forward.  It is much easier for an optimism thief to rob someone who is frozen from fear than a person who is developing and moving ahead.

Listen for the voices of envy and jealously, they will leave you gagged and bound if you allow them to slip in.  Replace those voices with your own voice.  Use your voice to appreciate and build up those in your sphere.  Pay attention to someone you admire who consistently celebrates and brings joy to others.  Watch, listen, copy, and practice.  If you are fighting a life-long predisposition to envy and/or jealousy it will be tough but it is within your ability to exercise those optimistic voices and begin to change your pattern.

Your optimism fuels your hope and confidence; without it life can be grim.  Get intentional about preventing the optimism thieves from gaining entry.  If they happen to have already moved in as squatters, serve your eviction notice.  You might have to evict one at a time and you may find that they try to slip back in through another crack.  Never give up.  You have one life, Live it well.