Just finished watching a documentary with Michael J Fox and his take on optimism. It was quite inspiring because he's simply an uplifting, beautiful person. I'm sure he has his dark moments, but overall, this is a guy who has taken what many might see as a death sentence and turn it into something to work towards.
(I recently purchased his book, Always Looking Up, but I haven't had the chance to read it just yet.)
In the documentary, they spoke about Bhutan, a country that focuses quite a bit of energy on their Gross National Happiness. While it has a lot to do with Buddhist values, I can still appreciate the value of choosing happiness and optimism above the alternative. I don't know if I'm a pessimist or optimist, I am hopeful, but at the same time, I always need to know what the Worst Possible Outcome is so that I can be prepared.
But it did get me thinking about the choices we make in our life and how they might define if we are optimists or pessimists.
Take freelance writers. We work at a career that is not guaranteed to leave us rolling in the dough. Quite contrary... most freelancers are earning below the poverty line in North America. But we still do it.
Or look at the 36,000 jobs that were added to the Canadian economy last month. A pessimist might say "oh yeah, but they were self employed jobs..." an optimist might say "these people choose to go start their own businesses rather than sit on social assistance".
I think that it might be our choices in life that reveal how we think. Do you keep writing query letters despite the rejections? Do we keep pitching book proposals despite the lack of response? Do we push the limits of what we can do, trusting that we will have the resources to finish what we start?
(x-posted at Mama Needs A Book Contract)