How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Jason
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time?

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:08 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:20 pm
Somebody give me material to indoctrinate myself with permanent optimism (y)
Do you prefer snorting or mainlining?

EdithKeeler
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:05 pm

Reading thru this thread I’m reminded of that old joke about the kid enthusiastically shoveling the pile of shit: “With all this shit, there’s got to be a pony in there!”

Kid’s an optimist.... and stupid.

Riggerjack
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:26 pm

@ Jacob,yes, but agency has its own problems, in that nobody seems interested in describing the step by step directions for development of agency, and people treat it as something one has or doesn't. While OP wasn't asking for agency, specifically, he was describing problems with depression and other issues related to not feeling that agency. While I went off on a tangent (nothing new about that...), It was with the intent to help him.

Being positive for the sake of being positive is a waste of time and effort. Living positively requires more than a smile and a handshake.

Or, I read too much into what he was saying, and posting information he doesn't want or need. But maybe someone else will.

TopHatFox
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:35 pm

Now trying to be an optimist, I think a lot of people on this forum offer up negativity! I think I'm going to re-vive and write on my blog from now on. Or at least take a break from here. Maybe this space is mostly good for thrift and investing or tax queries.~ Now that I think about it, Internet forums and even the internet as a whole tends to offer up large heaps of negativity too. Here's to exiting that! I'm inclined to think select optimistic books and podcasts are a better use of my time. Even the majority of internet articles are poorly researched and click-bait. Nope to those too. Here's to surrounding myself with flesh and blood optimistic friends and family. My own little HappyFox treehouse here I come!<3

Jason
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Jason » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:23 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:35 pm
Now that I think about it, Internet forums and even the internet as a whole tends to offer up large heaps of negativity
Thankfully you have the real world to which you can retreat.

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jennypenny
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by jennypenny » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:31 pm

@THF -- I know you're fond of safe spaces and if that's where you want to spend your adulthood, that's fine.

I gotta say though, you're totally wrong about the forum. This is one of the most optimistic places I've ever experienced, online or in person. In general, everyone here believes that ...
-- everyone is capable of gaining control of their life through FI regardless of their income level
-- everyone is capable of learning the life skills needed to be self-sufficient
-- ERE can be achieved regardless of education level, location, gender, race, or age
-- everyone is free to customize their ERE path to suit their personality

To that end, everyone here is also willing to repeatedly answer any questions about managing finances, suggest ways to improve work situations, teach homesteading skills (from basic to advanced), and give extremely personal information and examples to show how they solve the same problems.

What this forum won't do is sugar-coat a problem or indulge in unproductive griping. People here will help others assess their problems and give concrete, realistic ways to solve those problems. That is optimism in action -- if they didn't believe that the problems could be solved or thought that people weren't capable of solving them, they wouldn't bother helping.

You ask a lot of questions and people go out of their way to help you find the answers you need. They do that because they think you're a smart, ambitious person who is capable of achieving ERE. There's nothing pessimistic about that. If you don't like the answers or the solutions presented, that's not our fault, nor does it make us negative just because we don't offer up bullshit with sprinkles on top to make you (or anyone asking for help) feel good.

Realism is about accurately looking at a problem. Optimism is thinking you can solve it. Agency is solving it. That's why I consider forumites optimistic. They assume you (and others) can solve any problem, which is why they try to help you figure out how.

EdithKeeler
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:57 pm

Now trying to be an optimist, I think a lot of people on this forum offer up negativity! I think I'm going to re-vive and write on my blog from now on. Or at least take a break from here. Maybe this space is mostly good for thrift and investing or tax queries.~ Now that I think about it, Internet forums and even the internet as a whole tends to offer up large heaps of negativity too. Here's to exiting that! I'm inclined to think select optimistic books and podcasts are a better use of my time. Even the majority of internet articles are poorly researched and click-bait. Nope to those too. Here's to surrounding myself with flesh and blood optimistic friends and family. My own little HappyFox treehouse here I come!<3
I think a true optimist would see that there is good advice contained in everything you’ve been told here. Maybe some of it is not applicable to you, but it doesn’t make it wrong or negative.

This is not an “everyone gets a trophy” kind of place where people will just blow sunshine up your butt.

Really, I’m not sure what you want. “How can I be an optimist every day, all of the time?” I suspect no one is capable of this unless they’re nuts.

“How can I act like an optimist all the time?” Well, act like an optimist all the time.

There’s a movie you might want to watch: “Happy Go Lucky.” Came out in 2008.

TopHatFox
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 pm

@Jason, Exactly! : )

I'm going to replace internet forums and articles with Meetups, dialogue with in-person or video calling people, mentors, books, and audiobooks/podcasts. Let's see what happens.~ Thank you all for your time over the years! I may be back in a day, a week, or years. Who knows!

Paula
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Paula » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:07 pm


Campitor
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Campitor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:14 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:24 am

why not go all the way and become a cynic?
Cynics - you don't need to enjoy an apple - just eat it.
Stoic - I like apples but I'm equally happy if there are only pears to eat. Or maybe I'll grow apples and sell the extra.

I prefer Stoicism. :D

enigmaT120
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:59 pm

That was funny Jason.

slowtraveler
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by slowtraveler » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:22 pm

@JP
+1

I recall reading the 6 Pillars of Self Esteem and seeing how different the concept was so different than I had previously imagined. Self Esteem has 2 components:
1)A belief that one is deserving of happiness.
2)A belief in one's capacity to handle life's problems as they arise based on experience.

This takes time to build, it is not a wish it and it's done thing.

That said, it does not mean one always feels happy. Negative emotions help one see what does not work for them in their life and move them to action. They have utility and are valuable to the solution space.

If optimism is to always feel capable, I think that would help. It will always move one towards finding a solution.

BRUTE
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by BRUTE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:33 pm

enigmaT120 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:59 pm
That was funny Jason.
+1

brute's throat is scratchy due to all the dry sarcasm leaking from that post.

Farm_or
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Farm_or » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:10 am

@riggerjack - I get it.

Also now makes sense of your username.

I can relate to your experience of living with people who would rather endure than fix. It makes me crazy to put up with things jury rigged and never fixed long term. It really aggravates me when you must fix the junk that you try to use to fix the junk.

I've never thought of it in terms of optimism vs pessimism. But, I have heard that reasoning of not fixing something, "It will get broken again anyway!"

I believe there's significant psychology in living in a chronic unffixed environment. If it looks like junk, it will be treated like junk and shortly become a self fulfilled prophecy. On the other hand, if you busy yourself with attention to details and small problems, you rarely encounter big problems.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:34 am

@jennypenny:

I had the same thought about this group actually being optimistic, but VERY CONSERVATIVELY optimistic.

@Riggerjack@Farm_or:

Do you err on the side of preferring the "done right" fix, even if it is not in alignment with overall obsolescence of the object or system? For instance, sometimes a roof repair "done right" might be like unto treating an 85 year old man for prostate cancer. IOW, don't you think this is sometimes an issue of aesthetics, or even moral aesthetics, rather than true utility?

When considering closed, non-living systems, the sum of the parts can actually be greater than the whole. When considering open, living systems, the whole is often becoming more than the sum of its parts, so there is always room for rational optimism. Also, the whole 3% SWR is ultimately based on the growth rate of timber which is obviously based on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yop62wQH498

SavingWithBabies
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by SavingWithBabies » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:12 am

I used to think I should just be myself but... I realized I tend towards grumpy a little bit sometimes. I also read the articles about how just smiling a little more both helps your own mood and often the mood of those you interact with. I tried this off and on a little and I think it's true. I think having a positive attitude, even if you have to push yourself that way a little sometimes, is a good thing.

So I don't really push myself to be overly peppy. But I do try to have a good attitude. Being in control of my career and leaving jobs where it's just not working for me has really helped with that. But also when I'm kind of middle of the road, I try to go a little more towards positive. So I'm not fighting myself, just trying to default to optimistic.

Another aspect of this is personal philosophy. It is easy to become discontent about one's life. For example, I sometimes wish I was a little better in terms of talking up myself. I'm a bit too bashful professionally. But when I try to change that part of my nature, it feels too fake to me so I haven't figured that out. But, getting back to discontent, it's easy to talk yourself into being discontent. Especially if things really are going that way in your life and it's not just a matter of perspective. But you can also fight this -- I think it's a good idea to try to keep mental health by talking things through to yourself, your partners and your friends. Although I didn't get to that point until I had a spouse that I could really trust.

I struggle with how to write about this but what it boils down to is opting towards more optimistic but based on a true personal philosophy that my goal is to do the best I can and to self-direct my own life. To understand and accept sometimes I'll make the wrong choices, will get in a funk for a bit or things just won't work out well. But if the overall direction is still towards positive improvement or achievement of goals, life is going well and I should be happy about that and I can be happy about that and sometimes it's a choice. I truly do believe that being positive is better than being negative and it is worth making the effort to realign regularly and/or make changes if you see a slip towards negative.

PS Now I read the thread and @jacob managed to say better than I a good part of what I wrote above. Reality is really a key piece of all of it. But you also have to trust that you are seeing reality and not be persuaded by other people or things that try to paint a different picture or influence things. I've found that trust that my perception of reality is correct and basing my actions on that has been very beneficial. If you think everyone sees the same reality, try talking through what you're seeing with others who are going through it too (as in, are right there in the room with you for whatever you're talking about). I only developed this trust in taking the reality I see over what other people often try to present fairly recently -- last couple of years. Maybe because I started to question quite a bit about how startups work and other aspects of working and realized what I saw was often different than many of my coworkers. At first, that led to being negative but over time, I came to see this as just reality of venture capital-based startups with young people and savvy investors.
Last edited by SavingWithBabies on Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Riggerjack
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:49 am

Do you err on the side of preferring the "done right" fix, even if it is not in alignment with overall obsolescence of the object or system? For instance, sometimes a roof repair "done right" might be like unto treating an 85 year old man for prostate cancer. IOW, don't you think this is sometimes an issue of aesthetics, or even moral aesthetics, rather than true utility?
I come from a background of broken people and overwhelming problems. Life is full of hassles and problems. No matter what you do, you will have a light drizzle of problems fall on you, day after day. From the guy cutting you off as you move to the line in the grocery store, to cancer, and everything in between. Some can be ignored, some can be avoided, and some stick.

I consider a problem solved, when it no longer has my attention. I consider it "done right" when it no longer has my attention, and isn't likely to need my attention soon. Example:

I'm a young man, getting off work on Friday, and my buddies are going to float the river on Saturday, I'm invited. But the truck is acting up, I need to clean the carb, and tune it up.( Yes, I'm that old.) But I have starting fluid in the toolbox, and I could go have a great day with my friends. I could deal with the truck next weekend.

Having the starting fluid and toolbox in the truck were previous fixes. Choosing to forego play and fixing the truck is "done right" as I won't have that worry in the back of my mind for the next week. Or I could go play and use starting fluid as needed.

The people I grew up with never would have noticed the hesitant start, known what to do about it, or had the tools or money to solve the problem as it arose. Their lives we're a never ending cascade of irritations and calamities they couldn't deal with. Minor problems are never dealt with at all as there are real crisis to deal with, always. In this way, it's like debt. Failure to solve those problems lead to those problems still being there when the next hit, wave after wave, with interest, as each existing problem makes it more difficult to clear the new ones.

So I learned to enjoy the good times while they last, because they won't.

But then, I went from " under the table cheap labor" to a real job. I remember starting at $9.04/hr, thinking I was doing pretty good. And I initially used that money to fix at the little problems I had allowed to pile up. And it felt pretty good.

At this time, I was in an industry in flux, so the raises came quick, but the jobs came and went. In 3.5 years, I worked for 7 different companies, doing the same work and often running into the same people at several of them. These are all guys working in cabling, so the oldsters were in their 40's, but most crews averaged in the high 20's. And, at this time, I was learning to play leadership games, so I am watching my coworkers carefully.

And a funny pattern emerged. The guys who solved problems regularly, had better lives. Their trucks started each time. They were on time, not hung over, and advanced quickly. The guys who didn't, didn't. And eventually washed out of the trade.

As I was working as a foreman, choosing who keeps working, and who goes to find a new job, the pattern was just perfectly clear. The guys who proactively solved their own problems were also just better techs, and better people to be around. They bitched about problems they needed to solve, rather than to hear their own voice.

So, I have been aggressively dealing with problems as they arise for a couple decades now. It feels like life is on Easy Mode. So when there is a crisis, and I just plow through it, people seem to feel my casual attitude to the crisis is optimistic, but really it's capability and experience. Both of which I feel lucky to have, as it was luck that taught me. But if I can help someone learn this intentionally, well, that would be nice.

RealPerson
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by RealPerson » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:10 pm

@RJ
It is amazing what I learn from this forum. I must have a sheltered upbringing and life, because what you describe from your past sounds utterly unfamiliar to me. I just never knew people like that or simply wasn't aware of them. It makes me appreciate that, in spite of a privileged background, I learned to work hard and save even harder. My life has been truly unbelievable so far. I am just a very lucky guy. Without pills, alcohol or cocaine. How is that for optimism?

Optimism is appreciation for the wonderful life you have and the opportunities you enjoy. Awareness and appreciation that we are some of the luckiest people that have ever lived.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:30 pm

@Riggerjack:

Gotcha. Difference between J Rational and P Rational being that Js problem solve so that then they can relax, whereas Ps relax (space-out) while problem solving. For instance, problem that has my attention is "What is the microbial makeup of the soil I tried to improve in my mini-orchard vs. the unimproved soil in other sections of my vacant lot?" Associated sub-problem being "How can I best scavenge a 1mm ball lens, so that I can make my own super-cool digital biological microscope?" While I am cheerfully engaged in the process of solving these problems, it is highly likely that I will not notice other problems such as person taking cuts in front of me in line, roof leaking, or tax filing deadline quickly approaching. There are an infinite number of problems I could choose to solve, but not so many that interest me enough to warrant much attention. For instance, all problems involving cars fall into the category of Super-Boring IMO, so I choose not to own a car and thereby avoid that quagmire of pure drudgery.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: How to be optimistic all the time? Presenting genuinely v. happily

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:42 pm

I'm going to replace internet forums and articles with Meetups, dialogue with in-person or video calling people, mentors, books, and audiobooks/podcasts. Let's see what happens.~ Thank you all for your time over the years! I may be back in a day, a week, or years. Who knows!
Good luck THF, I hope you find what you are looking for. Stop back in someday and let us know how it turns out.

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