What Does It Mean to Have Optimistic Attitude
Few exploits of the 20th century could match a voyage from England to Antarctica with the captain and twenty-seven crew members. The ship Endurance had sailed twelve thousand miles and then push through pack ice for another thousand miles. But now it was stuck in the frozen Antarctic. They were only one hundred miles from its final destination. The currents pushed and pulled against the wooden hull and the vicious sea began to crush it. The crew members had to grab their supplies and prepare to abandon the ship.
They watched as the side of their ship started caving in. Then they heard the timbers creak and break. The twenty-eight men resigned to the fact of their inevitable fate of death, exposure, starvation, or drowning. But their leader had a different mindset. Ernest Shackleton and his crew were the ultimate models of an optimistic attitude. This was not the first experience for Shackleton either. Earlier he sat out to be the first man to reach the South Pole, but it was not to be. He was beaten out by a Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1911.
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” ~ Roy Bennett
Having An Optimistic Attitude Is Essential to Your Survival
Then Shackelton set his sights on being the first man to make it across Antarctica on foot. After two years he had enough money, supplies, and supporters to make his “dream” expedition. The first thing he did was purchase his Arctic vessel. He named the ship Endurance after his family’s motto-Fortitudine Vincimus: “By endurance we conquer.”
Shackelton then set sail in 1914. By January of the following year, the ship was icebound. The crewmembers abandoned the ship and took salvaged rations and lifeboats. They tried to reach Elephant Island. But when they reached the island it turned out to be a frozen wasteland with no food.
Shackelton took a small crew with him and sailed 870 miles to South Georgia Island, where there was a whaling station with supplies. The journey took seventeen days, arriving in hurricane conditions when they were able to land.
When they reached the island, they had landed on the remote south side of the island. They had to traverse a rugged thirty-two miles over glacier-covered peaks to the other side. It took another four months before they made it back to the stranded men on Elephant Island with the supplies. Then they all loaded up and headed back to England.
Although Shackelton did not succeed in his mission to cross Antarctica on foot, he did save himself and all his crew of twenty-seven men. Years later, a crew member said of Shackelton that he is “the greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth, bar none.”
Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome
Shackleton had an attitude that is essential to survival. Shackleton said, “Difficulties are things to overcome.” He and his crew faced challenges that most would have given up on. Subzero temperatures, poor provisions, no radio to signal for help, and horrid seas that went on for hundreds of miles. No matter what the circumstances he determined to overcome and to do it with courage and joy.
Shackelton had an optimistic fighting spirit. He refused to give in to hopelessness, and never saw himself as a victim. He was smart enough to realize that difficulties arise, and things change. The key to his survival was knowing how to respond when things don’t go as planned. It is important to bend and be flexible.
The same is true for us. When difficulties come, we should never see ourselves as victims. We can choose to example the following optimistic characteristics.
8 Essential Attitudes
- Practice Positive Thinking – Your attitude determines how you live your life. Instead of waiting for external things to make you happy, be happy and watch how that influences the things around you. Being positive is an attitude, not a situation. Read books with a positive message or listen to music that is uplifting and practice being positive.
- Turn Off the News –Cable news delivers a lot of sensationalism. Psychologically, negative news is what sells. Get your news from local sources and avoid opinion news and infotainment. Sign up for “good news” notifications. There are plenty of encouraging stories out there, but they won’t come from the current media.
- Journal Your Gratitude Daily – Keep a daily gratitude journal. Write down each evening three things that you’re grateful for that day. You can do it with simple bullets to describe your gratitude if you like. It’s hard to be discouraged when you focus on things you are grateful for.
- You Can’t Control Everything – One thing that causes people to lose hope is the feeling of the loss of control. Realizing that you can’t control everything will help you be more optimistic about your circumstances.
- Help Others – We live in an imperfect world. It is sad when people die, you lose money, or a tornado blows down a house. But, what small action can you take to stop focusing on your needs and look around to find ways to regard others as more important than ourselves.
- Surround Yourself with an Optimistic Network. – They say that birds of a feather flock together. If you have any friends or family members who are negative, try to limit your association with them. Find people with an optimistic mentality and encourage each other.
- Find Heroes to Emulate – All great men and women have heroes. Heroes give us courage. They remind us that others have faced and overcome challenges. Our issues are not unique, others have gone similar circumstances. When you persevere, you do not only survive but you can thrive.
- Become Solution Focused – Focus on creating solutions for the things you do have control over. Optimistic people don’t feel sorry for themselves, and they don’t quit. They persist despite unexpected setbacks, criticism, and hard work.
How To Think With An Optimistic Attitude
Optimistic people have the ability to see the good in what is happening. Even if you feel down sometimes you can lift yourself up by remembering the good things and experiences. These opportunities will allow you to grow and appreciate the rewards that we gain from our struggles.
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond. It is your choice on how you respond. There are lots of reasons to complain and be miserable. Then, there are reasons to be optimistic and joyful.
How do you look at life?
Are you optimistic?
It’s not easy to always keep going when the going gets tough. By focusing on what is essential, get out reaction mode, energize yourself to conquer the day.
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I am Shirley Noah: I write about living well, including good habits for happiness, health, productivity, and success. I would love to connect with you further to help you with your physical, mental, and emotional strain. Let me help equip you with the necessary tools to achieve a “stress-free” life.
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