A Positive Future By Intent

After reading a post by Wonder Sonder, called Form Some Other Beginnings End where she talks about intending to have a great year.  Shortly after reading her post I received the following E-Mail from the Pacific Institute on the power of intent.  Intent is one of my favourite things.

Here is the link to the E-Mail and the body of the text is below.  Hope you enjoy it.



A Positive Future by Intent

Whether you know of him or not, a debt of gratitude is owed to the research into optimism and pessimism made by Dr. Martin Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania. A past president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Seligman is the author of numerous books on the subjects of optimism and pessimism, and how they affect the way we look at our world.

How do you find out if you are an optimist or a pessimist? Ask yourself the question: How do I think when bad things happen to me?  A pessimist lets the bad thing contaminate everything in their life: home, work, relationships. It is called “globalising.” An optimist, on the other hand, isolates the bad. “It’s just this one piece that’s not so good; everything else is OK.”

The other thing a pessimist does is “eternalise” the bad thing. “It’s awful now, and it’s going to be this way forever. Nothing is ever going to go right again.” An optimist puts a timeframe on it. “Yes, it’s going to be painful for a while, but I’ll get through it. Things will change for the better.” Pessimists have a tendency to take accountability for the entire mess they are in, whether it was entirely their fault or not, while optimists take accountability for what they caused, and realise that there were other factors involved.

Now, let’s turn it around. How do you think when good things happen? A pessimist calls it a one-time thing, believes it won’t last, and minimises their part in the success. The optimist? An optimist lets the good things colour everything they do, believes that it will last forever, and takes credit for their part in the success – “I caused it.”

You are starting to see a pattern. The pessimist has an external locus of control, and typically sees him- or herself as a victim. The pessimist mindset is one of, “It’s all about me.” The optimist, on the other hand, has an internal locus of control, takes control of the situation at hand, and sets about making better things happen.

Optimist or Pessimist? Again, it’s all about that internal picture you hold in your mind – and the choice is always ours which we choose.

The Pacific Institute



Wonder Sonder

Sometimes, we spend so long mourning all that is wrong, that we forget to look back at everything that was just right, the day that started out with fresh french toast at a gorgeous restaurant with orchids and freshly brewed coffee, the coconut trees and the historical edifices all around us, the phenomenal company, the incredible views and the fact that we made it to a place I’ve always wanted to see, and we saw it 48 hours after I had a ping pong ball-sized benign tumor removed from my left breast.

At Angkor Wat. Photo by Hadidd Ahmed At Angkor Wat.
Photo by Hadidd Ahmed

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about three things: how to speak up in the space of cruelty, and how to refrain from succumbing to the pain of loss by creating walls around me and pushing out the people who wish me well, and thirdly, how to recognize and distinguish…

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