Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Optimistcally or Misty-optically

People go to a bar optimistically.
They come out of  a bar misty-optically.

-- via Swami Tejomayananda (in one of the daily discourses during Vedanta -2012 retreat)

When he used this quote, it was really funny. We all laughed.

Read misty-optically as misty-eyed, meaning sad, teary eyed.

Well, he was not just focusing on the futility of trying to drown your sorrows in alcohol or anything similar. things to numb you down.

There is another funny saying - do not try to drown your sorrows in alcohol. Your sorrows know how to swim. :)

I think Swamiji's saying has much deeper meaning.

Optimism is a universally recommended attitude. It's like a hot stock.Everybody is  bullish on it. Everybody you meet asks you to be optimistic. Feel good gurus say optimism is what sets apart winners from losers. 

For a change, just wanted to check the dictionary meaning of optimism, optimistically etc. Let's see what the dictionary says.

Definition of Optimism from Webster's dictionary.

2 : an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome

I highlighted 'best' for a reason. 

Unintelligent optimism is the problem not the real optimism.

We ourselves can recall from our own experiences how we may have used optimism wrongly and gotten disappointed in turn.

Many times, optimism to most us means, what  we THINK is best for us. We really do not know what's really best for us because, as mere mortals, our view of the reality is very limited and clouded by our conditioning over many lives. With such a limited view of reality, what we think is best for us rarely aligns with what destiny (or God or super power or greater life or whatever pleases you) KNOWS is best for us. When our idea of best aligns with what is really best for us, no force can stop us from getting what you wish for. When what we think is best for you does not align with what our destiny thinks is best for us, we will not get what we hope for.

If you look back, it's easy to find several examples. Look at all those opportunities you 'thought' you missed, all those people you really wanted in your life but somehow did not materialize, all the jobs you wanted but did not get, all the schools you wanted to go to but could not for whatever reasons, so and so forth.

You might think you really deserved, at least, some of them. You may be bitter for not getting any of them. But, if you trust your own higher self (or God or destiny), you can be sure that what you missed was not BEST for you. So be happy that you were spared from some agony. Temporarily it may have  been very disappointing and very frustrating to have not gotten all that you wanted but as I said, you really did not miss anything. You have received everything that is needed to meet the greater purpose of universe. 

It's like everybody wanting to be a hero or heroine in a drama. We know how silly is that idea. But, when it comes to drama called life, we all want to have some particular roles even when we are not suited to play them. So just be happy. Life is just perfect the way it is. It is what it is. 

Coming back to maintaining an optimistic disposition. Please be always super optimistic but in real sense. Before affirming your optimism, always remember the correct definition of optimism and hope for the real BEST and not what you think is best for you. With that mindset, your optimism will do a lot of good to you.


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