Optimism – The ultimate weapon

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by Dada Vimaleshananda

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Helen Keller

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
Vaclav Havel

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’ t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
Lucille Ball

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.”
Tom Hanks

Seligman, a well-known researcher in the area of optimism, summarizes the essence of optimism:

“Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience the setbacks that life deals us is the central skill of optimism.” (Seligman, 1991, p.15)

You will notice that being optimistic is not just being positive during the good times, but also being able to maintain positive thoughts about ourselves, even during life’s setbacks.

Optimism is more than a state of mind. It transforms philosophy into action:

“Those who dismiss the world as illusory, do injustice to their individual prowess, and become very cynical. This negative approach leads the human society astray, partially or fully. Seeing how deeply you love your children a máyávádin (a proponent of the doctrine of illusion) will say, “Be careful, you are about to fall in the snare of attachment. Remember this relative world is just an illusory prison”. To such a negative statement a genuine Ánanda Margii will say with robust optimism: “Of course I will love my children with all my heart, and through sádhaná, expand this love to its greatest or unlimited extent. Let this love which was confined to one child be extended to all children. By taking the hearts of all parents within one’s own heart one realizes that every child is worthy of this love.” This sort of awareness is possible only through real knowledge – the knowledge of truth. Those who deny the importance of knowledge in sádhaná want to throw humanity into the abysmal darkness of staticity.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (The Highest Category of Devotion – Bhádra Púrńimá 1957 DMC, Katihar, Bihar)

“Human beings must not be pessimists under any circumstances. I am an incorrigible optimist, for I know that optimism is the very essence of life.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (Abhimat III, 34)

“Now, within the realm of these three binding principles, society will have to find the path for true progress through proper planning and proper struggle. Without this, the future of humanity is dark. But you should bear in mind that pessimism or the complex of hopelessness is not the essence of this universe; optimism is the goal of the universal humanity. So in no circumstances should cynicism or nihilism be encouraged; rather when the righteous and virtuous people of this world sit together and decide what should and should not be done, they will certainly find the proper path. The internal clash amongst the three binding principles should never be discouraged; on the contrary, it should be directed along the proper path.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (Heterogeneity in Aesthetics – 31 December 1984, Ananda Nagar)

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
Peace Pilgrim

“Optimism is that energy that transform ideals into reality”
Dada Vimaleshananda

There are some people who are pessimistic. They say that the society around us is very bleak, that it has no expression of vitality and that it seems that everyone is in a deep slumber. Pessimists say this because they have never made any detailed study of human history, nor do they care to. Had they done so, they would certainly be optimistic, because if they had looked carefully at the symptoms of pause, they would have realized that significant preparations were being made for the subsequent phase of speed. So under no circumstances should human beings be pessimistic. That is why I am always an incorrigible optimist, because I know that optimism is life.
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (Dynamicity and Staticity – 10 March 1979, Calcutta)