Saturday, January 24, 2009

Optimism: Ignoring the Naysayers

One of my earliest memories of being inspired towards optimism was from the TV version of Damn Yankees (1967). This Broadway Musical was based on a book that was loosely based on the old Faust legend.

One of the songs in the movie was called Heart. One stanza in the song is repeated several times:

You've gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
That's when the grin should start…

In my mind, the line I recollected was,

When the crowds are saying, “You’ll never win!”
That’s when the grin should start.

Optimism, for me, began with ignoring the naysayers: both the odds and the crowds. There are many voices that seek to persuade us, “You’ll never win.” Or “You’ll never be a winner.”

In many circles, negativity rules. I make it my aim to stay out of those circles. In fact, I’ve learned to fight the urge to self-destruct from negative self-talk. The Naysayer within is perhaps one of my greatest foes.

What’s a person to do?

The song gives us a strategy: grin!

In the face of negativity I mimic The Little Engine The Could. The mantra of success is perhaps, “I think I can… I think I can…”

If you don’t think you can: you won’t. If you think you can: you just might.

So ignore the naysayers. Contemplate the possibilities and grin.

There’s an old hymn that says, “Faith, Mighty Faith, the promise takes and looks to God alone; laughs at impossibility and shouts, It shall be done!”

Ray Bradbury echoes the same theme in Something Wicked This Way Comes: evil can be conquered by laughter.

I was “programmed” at an early age to be optimistic by a “silly” song. Against the odds, against popular opinion, I just might prevail! That’s optimism.

(What songs fuel your optimism? What songs promote your negativity? Which songs will you let program you?)

1 comment:

  1. Love the photo's here, they're so crisp and clear, bright and beautiful...lots of smiles. I am a true to the heart optimist ;o) and most definately agree. Great posts!

    I would imagine that you don't mind if I begin to follow?

    some extra smiles to you today ~ Heather