Is Optimism a Happiness Magnet?

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If there was an ‘England Worry Team’ my Mum would have been it’s Captain.  If there was a serious problem in the family then her worrying would massively intensify.   When the issue had resolved she would almost immediately suffer from such a debilitating Migraine that would render her physically incapable for 24 hours.  I saw this happen so many times it was an undeniable pattern.

My Dad on the other hand is a serial optimist and consistently good humoured.  At the age of 18 he found himself on a Troop Ship bound for Africa and he spent the entire 2nd World War serially escaping death,  His survival was nothing short of miraculous. Discuss it with him now and he gives the impression he had the most incredible adventure holiday at the Government’s expense.

Over the years my Mum suffered numerous life threatening illnesses it was like she’d swallowed a medical dictionary.  No-one was more surprised than her when she reached her 86th birthday.  Of course she must have been genetically disposed to some of her problems but I couldn’t help wonder, if, like the Migraine’s, her worrying hadn’t manifested some of her physical symptoms.

On the other hand, aside from the odd cold, my Dad was never ill until he contracted Pneumonia at the age of 85.  We were certain we were losing him.  One of his best friends, Bernard, had just died and my father said with typical humour “I think Bernard’s calling me to play for the 2nd team”.  They were both keen bowlers.  A lovely Doctor attended, she was a ‘no nonsense’ German with a strong accent.  I told her I thought that my Dad was convinced he was dying and was giving up.  She listened and said “leave it wiz me” and marched purposefully upstairs.  We could hear her telling him in no uncertain terms he wasn’t dying.  After she’d gone, I went to talk to him and he said with a weak smile “she says I’m not dying, so I’m not” and from that moment on he started to improve and he lived another 10 years after that.

So, is optimism a happiness magnet?  Well, worrying certainly isn’t, so I think so.   Worrying saps your creative energy to find solutions and if you’re worrying about something you cannot influence in any way, let it go.   I’m not saying to go round with Rose Coloured specs in the face of impending disaster, sometimes when there are no acceptable alternatives finding the least unacceptable, is the only way.

If all else fails you can join the Wednesday Worry Club – invented by Lord Arthur Rank – I read about this years ago and loved it, here’s the article:-

Wednesday Worry Club

Lastly, if you are an optimist and you’re looking to find more time and financial freedom in your life you might like to come and surround yourself with some other serial optimists here, we’re a friendly team, always looking for new students 🙂

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Tim - 6 October 2014 Reply

Good post Chris, attitude is so important. I’m a serial worrier but like the idea of a worrying club!!

    Chris - 6 October 2014 Reply

    Maybe we should have a Wednesday Worry Club website – everyone can deposit them like a Bank and take out others they don’t have to worry about 😉

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