The Startling Truth Behind Optimism & Happiness

There is always someone in your group of friends that is most likely to throw advice at you when you are feeling bummed. Even if we just need to make one tiny decision, they are the ones that voice their opinion louder than the rest. But when advice is so easy to come by, it seems harder to take. The words of three of your girlfriends float above your head and in front of your face, but reaching out to grab them seems a mile away. Sometimes you want to hear from a new perspective; a person outside of your immediate circle of friends who you hold respect for, whose opinion you value.

Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend of mine that I do not get to see nearly as often as I would like to. We get to chit-chat about random stuff like sports and check in with each other from time to time, and I always can rely on him for some quality inspiration. The difference between his advice and that of my close friends– and I appreciate and respect them for their help always– is that the his words come from something that is real; an outlook on improving the quality of life that has become tangible for him. I enjoy his creativity and humor in coming up with ways to stay focused and happy. This time, it is all about Positive Mental Attitude.

Those are the words that I have found myself following lately, and considering I have vowed to make 2012 a year of success and happiness for myself, I would say it is the best motto to go by. I found that this more to the point and uplifting than long strewn out sentences attempting to convince me that the darker days are through.

Having a Positive Mental Attitude, in my opinion, requires a lot of talking to yourself. Go ahead and try it. Tell yourself that you rock and you are going to be happy today. Look out the window and at the sun! It really is shining for you. Put on some good tunes (music has helped me tremendously). Dance around your room, put on your best outfit and go do something today. The more I sit back and think about any of the negativity in my past, the more I do not want to sit back and think about it ever again. What is the use, anyway? There are things to be done, plans to be made, and a full juicy day of life to conquer.

If anyone hates corny clichés more than me, prove it! But as I have recently come to realize that some of those clichés are good for something, you know, like inspiration!

Walking my dog, taking in nature!

Seize the day. Otherwise referred to by hipsters as “Carpe Diem,” this overused cliché has actually been the sidekick to my new-found love for having a Positive Mental Attitude. It may sound corny at first, but when you have already gotten the PMA behind you, it is time to go out there and put it to use- you know, by doing great things with your free time!

My crew and I were supposed to take a weekend trip to Vermont two weekends ago, but because my best friend is moving out on his own with his boyfriend, money was tight. We canceled the trip, but I am still going to snowboard this afternoon upstate with another good friend of mine. I want to take in the cold air into my lungs, zip down snow-covered hills, drink some brews at the bottom and do it all over again. Where is the wrong in this day? There only is if I let there be. Even if I had no plans to snowboard, I would put myself to good use. Whether it was helping with my parent’s huge Superbowl party tomorrow, studying for a test that has not been scheduled yet, or rearranging my extensive iTunes playlist, the hours in your day are what you make of them.

While socialites, rappers, and bond babies can party and bullshit every day, sorry Notorious B.I.G., we have real jobs and responsibilities. However, we can make the best of every minute that we have our feet on the ground, whether the sun is shining (metaphorically) or not. I am being Preacher McPreachy because I have applied PMA to my routine, like a mentally invigorating multi-vitamin taken at the start of the day for a boost of awesome. It soon becomes contagious and there is a great satisfaction when it rubs off on friends, like it has been passed on to me.

I can tell you that this mentality will set you up for a happiness and drive that will eventually come naturally. Dwelling, on one thing or everything is exhausting and time-consuming. You are in charge of your day, and your actions provoke the consequences. No matter what you are going through, making an effort to get happy may just prove easier than you though. Get out there and try, remember the great adventures this life has yet to take you. Be grateful you are alive and well, walking, talking and able to live freely so to act out on all the goals you have set for yourself. Only you can hold yourself back today! A Positive Mental Attitude is all it takes to get started.

Thank you, Vinny.

Check out his sports blog here:

20 thoughts on “The Startling Truth Behind Optimism & Happiness

  1. Thank you for posting this.It is exactly what I am trying to do, gain a positive mental attitude.

    As one of those old clique saying goes ‘do good things, and good things will happen’


  2. Thing I hate about advice is when people give it without your asking for it. I mean I know when it comes to family or friends, they have your best interests at heart, but their advice is how THEY would handle an issue or problem. Listen but ultimately I listen to my intuition in the end and go with it. More times than not it’s usually right.

    P.S I like your pic. Hot! ;)

  3. Good post about attitude and advice.
    Definitely something I try to (and have to try harder to) adopt about things – no point in dwelling on old shit for too long.
    Good food for thought!

  4. Living only in the past is nostalgia. Living only in the present is hedonism. Living only in future is dreaming. Doing something that draws upon our history, keeps us in the moment, and prepares us for the future is living.

      1. I like to think that my style of blogging is somewhere between Oscar Wilde and Garrison Keihlor, two of my favorite humorists (not to forget Mark Twain). I will take your comment as a compliment.

  5. Hi Sarah. I sooo related to this post. In fact, one of the reasons I am blogging now is to help keep myself positively focused. The PMA (and my phone just tried to autocorrect that to PMS – hahaha) takes conscious effort, but do it enough and it becomes self-perpetuating. I’m learning a great habit. Great blog, thanks!

  6. First, you got a fresh opinion from a man. Sometimes, the wisdom of a man is preferable to that of a woman. Women are insightful, but men are observers of reality.

    And man’s brain works like this. No excuses. If you want something, you will go and get it. Whether it is happiness, success, anything. Any obstacle can be overcome, one way or another. It doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else. In fact, it’s preferable that it’s not.

    Those yucky cliche’s are that for a reason. They are truth, when you open your mind up to them. But for me, I have to reword them to something less cheesy. Seize the day. For me, I changed it to, “Today should be the only day that exists for a person.” Not to say that we shouldn’t learn from the past, or prepare for a future. But, we can only do so much. The map of life is not a straight line from point A to point B. We can only do so much, but every second counts.

  7. wow, this is so true, and something I always try to tell my friends that are losing hope when looking for work and wondering why their depressed, I’m going to direct them to this post from now on, oh and thanks for following my blog :)

  8. This is an absolutely amazing post. From your outlook on friendly advice, to “seizing the day,” I can relate. That’s why I sometimes seek advice from those who have no personal stake in my happiness, or no real emotional attachment to me. It’s difficult to do because they have no incentive to actually help, but if you can solicit the advice, it can be very valuable. My outlook on 2012 is somewhat similar…oddly, I will try my hand at boarding or skiing next weekend….something new for me. Why not, right? LOL, again great post.

    1. Thank you SO much! I am really happy that people can relate, that’s my biggest goal here. Staying positive is hard, no one is ever always happy, but we can try our best. Enjoy skiing/snowboarding and good luck, I busted my butt going down that mountain and in pain for days! :)

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