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"You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down." ~ Charlie Chaplin

I guess Charlie Chaplin explained optimism better in just a single line than any acclaimed author could.

Many of you must be aware of the controversial interview question, "Is the glass half full or half empty?" Of course, there's no right answer to this. It's a simple question to judge a person's character. Take a look and think about yourself.

  • If you see the glass as half full, you're an optimist.

  • If you see the glass as half empty, you are a pessimist.

  • If you see the glass is half full as well as half empty, you're a relativist.

  • You're a physicist if you believe that the glass is half full because the other half is occupied by air.

  • You're a sceptic if you don't believe that what's in the glass isn't even water.

  • You're a realist if you believe "it's just a glass of water."

So, which one are you?

The point of this basic psychological test is only to determine one's tendency to view a situation. It divides people into two fundamental categories: optimists and pessimists. Yes, we have realists and sceptics too, but they're essentially like sub-divisions of the fundamental divisions.

Optimists are those people who tend to look at a situation from a positive point of view, while pessimists are those who tend to look at the negative aspect of the situation. Now, this doesn't mean that the former is happy 24/7 and the latter is always down in the dumps. We're all humans at the end of the day, aren't we? The difference is, while an optimist looks for the silver lining, a pessimist seeks the black cloud behind the silver lining. They may claim to be realists, but that's not the case.

Optimism and pessimism aren't exactly black and grey. A fine line separates the two: what you choose to see. So much of our happiness depends on how we choose to look at the world.

There's a saying, " Train your mind to stay calm in every situation." I'm certainly no master at it because certain people get on my nerves pretty quickly, but I'd rather admit I'm wrong than arguing with someone. Call me lazy, but I just can't waste my energy arguing. That's what optimists do! They know where they should and shouldn't invest their energy.

Do you know why positive affirmations are important and beneficial?

You may think it's a joke when someone tells you to talk positively about your body or talk to yourself in the mirror. Let me tell you, your body does hear what you say. Loud and clear. If I get into explaining this in-depth, which I'm bound to do as a medical student, it may baffle you. The takeaway is, your face is the reflection of your soul. What you say and what you do has a huge impact on what you look like. A genuinely happy person will look happy, while a lamenting person will look dull and pale in comparison.

Even a happy-go-lucky person can have a bad day. But they aren't torn down by it, because they know that that ugly part of their story is going to be the most powerful part of their testimony and that bigger & greater things are yet to come. Smiling through the pain may benefit not only you but also someone else in need. Be the reason someone else smiles!

Did you know research shows that optimistic people tend to be healthier and live longer compared to others? You may not believe me, but research never lies. If you're happy, your body works more efficiently, and this helps reduce the risks of many diseases. And to think it all hinges on a simple smile!

Seeing as how another year is ending, why don't we all give this optimistic POV a try? It's time for a new beginning! Let's start the new year on a positive note and remember to look for the good things in life because they are certainly endless.

"Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about." ~ Marilyn Monroe

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