Optimism means to see a half-filled glass as being half full whereas pessimism is to see the same glass as half empty.
Optimism has a whole load of benefits accruing from such a psyche:

- We all are happy when the life is on the up side. But the problem begins when the down phase comes. This leaves a deep impact on our psyche. In the period when there is nothing good happening, optimism is what can pull one through. The positivity that optimism brings keeps one going with their spirits high, even during the difficult periods of life, and even when such periods are for a much longer duration. After failure upon failure too, they don’t give up. They remain assured that at some point of time, their luck will change!

- Optimism makes one promise to their own self, to never get negative in their outlook. Rather, they try to see the positive lesson they need to learn from their experiences.

- Optimism doesn’t land one in stress or tension because an optimistic person doesn’t waste time in worrying, rather he works on solutions.

- Optimism helps one make better life choices as their psyche permits them to venture into new or unknown territories, without much interference of the adverse intellect.

- Seeing optimistic people always happy and upbeat, their surrounding too remains ever happy and upbeat.

- Even at the time of unexpected surprises that pop up in the form of situations of Crisis, one with optimism remains relaxed as he sees this as a positive thing only. The situation is bound to pass away in some time anyways, but this gives him an opportunity to learn, grow and adapt to circumstances. He thus utilizes this time effectively and comes out as a stronger human being. One with pessimism on the other hand, wastes this period crying over things, cribbing about situations and constantly feeling sorry for the conditions they are placed in.

- Optimism impacts one’s general demeanour as they journey through life; such people are easy-going, flexible and adjustable overall, and hence they are liked by others.

- So optimism is naturally better for one’s own well-being as well as the well-being of others, for their good health, and for their overall growth and progress as well.

Does it make people happier even when their expectations aren’t met?

Yes, optimism keeps people happy even when their expectations aren’t met. It is because suppose their expectations aren’t met this time, they do not see it as the end of life! One who is an optimist by nature, the biggest thing they have with them is HOPE. Even if things have not turned out as expected today, Hope gives meaning to their life and it allows a valid purpose to live for.

One with optimism believes that, ‘Tomorrow will be better than today – not just for me but for the world too. Every tough time has passed, and even though more comes, we shall rise and climb the next mountain.’ This belief keeps one happy!

Optimism always makes one look at the brighter side of things. So, in their vision, life is always wonderful and every day is to be cherished, along with the surprises and the challenges it carries, for in it is hidden the bliss in disguise! Even when one’s expectations are not met and reality turns out to be something different, optimistic people are expert at finding out something they’ve gained out of it.

So, by living life with an optimistic streak, one can prevail easily over an outcome not of their liking. Their live inner voice does not allow them to feel disheartened, “The world has a lot to be happy about. Compare your life with those a level below yours.”

They always think that whatever happens is for the good. Therefore, their natural attitude is to embrace life, hold onto their hope, and grab every opportunity that comes their way to make them a better version of themselves.

They are happy in whatever job they do and have almost no complaints with what the others do. They are not concerned with what happens to them in a situation where their expectations aren’t met; but rather they are bothered of how to react so that all of those concerned with this situation do not suffer in any way.

Thus, optimism is the reason why one has that smile on one’s face, why there’s cheerfulness even when something sad happens, and for the external happiness, even though the inside may be hurting, so that we don’t pull others down with us.

While optimism makes people happier even when their expectations are not met, here’s something that keeps us naturally happy all the time, no matter what the situation is! Let’s learn what that is…

The Enlightened One explains:

I am happy all the time 24x7. I can see the speech or thoughts or the actions of body as separate; it belongs to the relative (worldly) part. I am the knower and observer (as a Soul, the real Self). I can see your Self (Soul) also, you are separate from John. But you have a wrong belief today that ‘I am John’. That’s why you get unhappiness. Really, you are separate from the mind, speech and body all the time. Really!

Sometimes, your leg is paining. Then, what will you say, “My right leg is paining too much. But in left leg, there is no pain.” So you are a knower, pain is in this leg, there is no pain in this one – who knows? So really, you do not have pain. But you believe that I have pain, and that’s why you get the suffering. But if you know, ‘who is getting pain and who am I’, then you can remain separate from the pain.

You say, “I am John (please insert your name here).” That is a wrong belief. After your birth, you were given this name. But even before you were given this name, who were you? Once we realize ‘who am I’, it is called Self-Realization.

Pure Soul is the right and permanent answer of ‘who am I’. You are John is relatively correct (it’s the worldly self). But really correct is, ‘I am always permanently a pure Soul.’

So, whether our psyche is that of optimism or pessimism, we can remain happy in every situation after we have Self-Realization. And how to get Self-Realization? By meeting the Enlightened One and with his grace, getting our Soul enlightened!!!

Author's Bio: 

Ambalal M. Patel was a civil contractor by profession. In June 1958, spontaneous Self-Realization occurred within Ambalal M. Patel. From this point on, Ambalal became a Gnani Purush, and the Lord that manifest within him became known as Dada Bhagwan. A Gnani Purush is One who has realized the Self and is able help others do the same. Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan used to go from town to town and country-to-country to give satsang (spiritual discourse) and impart the knowledge of the Self, as well as knowledge of harmonious worldly interactions to everyone who came to meet him. This spiritual science, known as Akram Vignan, is the step-less path to Self-realization.