Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Experiencing the Power of OPTIMISM

Since we are in the first week of the New Year we may tend to compare the realities of 2013 with our hopes for 2014.  Such was the word picture for the Romans when they selected the word “January” for the first month of their calendar year.  January was chosen in honor of the Roman god Janus who was identified with doors, gates, and new beginnings.  He was represented on their coins as a man with two opposite faces; one looking back and the other forward.  Many of us spend time doing the same.  We play, “coulda, shoulda, woulda” games and second-guess our past decisions and behaviors.  We are stuck in the past, frozen in time.  Others of us think more positively and give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.  We are more optimistic about the future.  Optimistic people are positive, contagious and creative thinkers, seeing possibilities in every situation.  Optimists are made, not born.  William James, a famous psychologist of the early 20th century wrote, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”  He went on to say that, “the essence of genius is knowing what to overlook.”

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