The Marriage Of Optimism & Consciousness

Scarcity thinking and stinginess, “watching every buck like it will get away” is a significant display of pessimism. 

Pessimism is an overwhelming factor in health-related issues and in personal success and achievement. 

Being tight with money and time makes you tight at the cellular level of your body. 

Pessimism is really our number one health problem.

And it's the greatest deterrent to well-being and life satisfaction. 

Your optimism is not just genetic, it’s also learned.  

Grounded in the rostral anterior cingulate and the amygdala comes the optimism bias that is wired to keep us positively evolving. What is interesting is that these parts of the brain are also most active in depression. So we expect that when this capacity of these parts of the brain are checked in some way or dampened, depression results.

These parts of the brain are not the whole story of optimism, but they are a key to it. The rostral anterior cingulate, a part of the frontal cortex, is involved with regulating emotion, as is the amygdala located in the limbic system of our basal fight/flight brain.

In other words, if we aren’t using this natural tendency of the brain toward optimism, it can be checked in such a way that the result is depression.

Optimism is a very basic way your perception sees the world.  It’s measuring a very elemental thing that started with you genetically and continued with you in your nurturance. It’s a very basic way about the way you see and judge the most elemental events in your world. 

Consciousness starts with what we do with the most elemental events in our world. 

That’s where we’re going to find out how hopeful we are.

Ask yourself these questions:

1) What you do when a bad event happens, how permanent do you make it? 

When something negative happens, how much do you focus on it, how permanent do you make it? 

How much do you tune in to it and how much do you keep it there? 

How much “air time” do you give a bad situation in your brain?

2) How pervasive do you make bad events?  How much of it become the topic of conversation with everybody you talk to in the next two or three days?  How are you maximizing and broadening the effect of the situation?

3) How are you going to raise up and make permanent and pervasive the good that is happening to you, the good that is around you, the things you enjoy, the good that’s in you?  How do you make that both permanent and pervasive?  We’ve got to stop worrying so much about telling people how good we are.

Your assignment is to take the negative events and make them less permanent and less pervasive, and then to take the positive events and to make them more permanent and more pervasive, and see how that affects your consciousness. See how that changes the very nature of the things you focus on and the very nature of the things you talk about and how you talk about them. 

As you become an optimistic person, as this optimism grows in you and in your thinking and in your feeling, you will not tolerate negativity around you.  You won’t be interested in listening to it, you’ll notice it as soon as it happens.  

The ego is always going to give itself away and change and morph and become a new and different ego.  But you will recognize when it tells you, “Don’t be proud, be humble, don’t share this with your neighbors, you know, don’t tell everybody about this” . . . the ego gives itself away when we’re feeling badly. 

The ego is giving itself away when we’re feeling negatively.  When we’re engaged in believing in the permanence and pervasiveness of bad events, or when we are not giving the good the permanency that it needs or the pervasiveness that it needs, we’re going to experience the ego giving itself away.  

We are going to be feeling less than good, or we are going to be feeling the feelings of negativity, feeling the feelings of going into a DownSpiral.  We’re on to one of the central causes of moving into that DownSpiral that is not a fun place and certainly not a healthy place to live.

Pessimism narrows your options and your access to your strengths.  

We learn not to use positive emotion in our lives because of any number of reasons. I call that “learned-non use of positive emotion.” We can forget to exercise positive emotion just like we forget to use our muscles or work our bodies.

That’s why I have invented “The Emotional Gym.” It is a way of exercising positive emotion, of keeping it strong and evolving for a life where we are able to feel strong levels of love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope. 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute