I have recently read a couple of things that have me thinking about optimism and resilience, and how we all approach life. More importantly, perhaps, how we all approach bumps in our life journeys.
The first is Michael J. Fox’s book, Always Looking Up. I really enjoyed this book — Michael’s writing is clear and thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking at times. Obviously he is someone who has looked adversity in the eye and decided to embrace it as best as he can. I think, if I read him correctly, that he wouldn’t see any other way as that is the point of being an optimist. (I’m making an assumption here that most people know the story of Michael J. Fox’s journey with Parkinson’s Disease. Michael is often on lists of favourite Canadians, although he is now a US citizen.)
The second thing I read was an article in an old Reader’s Digest on resiliency. According to the article, this was the trait that was identified as being important to happiness in long life. The seniors who were interviewed for the study believed it was their ability to face issues head on and deal with them that made their lives rich and fulfilled. The article went on to detail how you can be a resilient person – the idea being that while some of us are naturally resilient in nature, the rest of us can work towards it.
In general I think of both myself and Mr. Kate as resilient people. We get done what we need to, we enjoy life, we accept circumstances. I have noticed in myself though a tendency to over-worry, and I would like to change this. It is a drain on my psyche, and often a waste of my time. I do think a certain amount of worry is healthy, if you never worry about something then perhaps you aren’t someone who plans ahead either. I’m not sure. I just know that those two readings came to me at a time when I needed them, and I hope I am receptive to their messages.
Are you a resilient person? An optimist? A worrier? What do you think about these traits – are they necessary to you or do you have other traits that assist you better in living your life?