Login Register

Brighter Outlook

By West Briton  |  Posted: April 17, 2014

Comments (0)

IT IS interesting that many of our emotions have a self-fulfilling aspect to them. When we are happy and feeling positive, then people warm to us and they laugh with us. But, when we are feeling grumpy or miserable, then other people are likely to steer clear.

This also applies to our actions. For example, the optimist who believes that doing something is worthwhile will attempt it, whereas the pessimist who believes that it is all a waste of time is unlikely to bother trying. It is the optimist, rather than the pessimist, that makes things happen. As Henry Ford said: "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right."

Another version of this lies in the tale of Socrates at the gates of Athens. A traveller approaches and asks: "I am thinking about moving into Athens. What is it like to live here?"

Socrates asks the man what his life was like in his previous home city. The man answered that it was awful. He says that the people were untrustworthy and he had no friends, only enemies. Socrates frowns and says, "Unfortunately, you will find Athens to be the same." Later that day, a second traveller approaches Socrates and asks the same question: "What is it like to live in Athens?" Socrates again asks the person what life was like in the place they had previously lived in. They say: "In my last home everyone was kind and respectful. Everyone worked together and helped each other." Socrates smiles and says: "You will find Athens to be the same.".

Undeniably, some things are outside of our control.

But, on another level, we can influence our world through our actions and beliefs. We give shape to our reality.

For NHS-funded therapy for stress, anxiety or depression, phone 01208 871905 or e-mail help@outlooksw.co.uk

Read more from West Briton

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters