How a change in your perspective can change your life

Savannah Pinnock, Opinion Editor

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Graphic by Savannah Pinnock

What do the terms glass half empty, glass half full or rose colored glasses have in common?

Well, these terms all have to do with one’s perspective and subsequently their world view.

In a world that is currently home to approximately eight billion people from all walks of life, it goes without saying that there are a great deal of perspectives permeating throughout the society.

These different perspectives have lead to contrasting philosophies, ideologies, spiritual concepts and cultural diversity. Although these streams of thought are as varied and complex as the topics you may find on “reddit”, they are more alike than you think.

All of these perspectives can be compartmentalized into a glass half empty or glass half full point of view. In more refined terms, these perspectives can be lumped into the realm of optimism or pessimism.

Yes, this is good to know, but what does this have to do with you you may ask? Well a lot, it has a lot to do with you. In fact, a simple change in your perspective can change your life and here’s how.

Before delving into the how’s and why’s, it is essential to understand the distinction between optimism and pessimism. You can think of optimism as a perspective that takes the silver lining into account, it is definitively positive.

Pessimism on the other hand is a perspective that is inherently negative. It is the “Chicken Little” of perspectives; the sky is always falling and there is no point in anything, yikes.

It is important to be aware of the fact that we are constantly teetering between optimism and pessimism. Some of us lean more on one end of the two extremes but nonetheless, we all teeter between them.

The problem however is that we are never completely optimistic. Embracing an optimistic worldview is one of the keys to having a rich and fulfilling life.

So, how does one go about that you may ask? According to Amy Przeworski from psychologytoday.com, the answer is simple but requires you to retrain your brain, it’s quite interesting. Przeworski suggests noticing “your negativity.

Listen to what you say and how negative it is. Track your thoughts on a daily basis and notice the negative assumptions and conclusions that you draw.” She emphasizes that pointing out and analyzing your negative streams of thought facilitates the change that is needed to be an optimist.

Ignoring the elephant in the room won’t make it disappear. So acknowledge your negative elephant and send it running.

Przeworski continues by suggesting that one searches “for positive aspects of situations.” Remember the notion of silver linings we discussed, well this is where that idea comes to play.

It is imperative that you navigate situations by looking at the bright side. If you obtained a B on an exam as opposed to an A, pat yourself on the back; you were very close and it could have been much worse. Just try harder, you’ll do even better next time.

Alongside silver linings, Przeworski recommends following in the footsteps of someone you know who seems to be the face of optimism.

We all know that person, they’re always smiling, chock full of energy, ready to start the day and often than not a morning person.

When confronted with situations in life whether good or bad, ask yourself, what would they do? When you found the answer, do it.

Last but not least Przeworski advocates “Practice, practice, practice. It has taken me years of work on this and I still sometimes dip into pessimism. It took you a long time to learn negativity and will take you a long time to learn optimism.”

So why not go for it, optimism may just be the key to living a more vivid and rich life. And plus, who truly desires to live their life to the tune of “The Sound of Silence”, yikes.

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