Extreme Pessimism

I was a pessimist. Some changes I opted to undertake have changed me tremendously.

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My wife is optimistic about most, if not all, things. I happen to be the opposite. When we talk about some activity to undertake or any idea for that matter, I always am the first one to start piping about the reasons why it would definitely fail, and talks like these almost always end up in heated arguments because I could not understand why she thinks things will just fall in line perfectly. I prefer not to even attempt doing things because I feel it is a waste of time and effort to try things that will certainly fail. I’d spray on her face with “What if it fails?!”. She would spray back “What if we succeed?!”.

Arguments of this sort has gradually tapered off in frequency thanks to some personal attempts I’ve made at recognizing and admitting the unhelpfulness of my extreme pessimism. The heart of the change is in the practices I exercised which mostly involved sitting in meditation (taught to me by a group I joined about 2 years back).

I have always complained (silently to myself these past few years) about a very negative habit which I have unconsciously been nurturing for years. Only in the past 2 years have I recognized it and seen it as the negative force that holds me from getting anywhere. For any idea or thought, I’d always automatically conjure the worst scenario. It has worsened so much to the extent that even while I’m in the middle of doing something e.g. office work, a negative thought would pop in e.g. an image of a family member getting hurt.

When I joined a meditation group, a lot of the exercises given involved invoking feelings of excitement, joy, vigor, and a lot of other positive feelings. After a few minutes of energising this way, we would fall off to passive sitting – focusing on nothing in particular. The first year, being new to the exercises, has seen me following almost all the practices to the letter. After that, and having also moved to a new job involving an entirely different field of work, I sort of slowed down a bit and became irregular in my exercises. Only here have I noticed the good that the first year had done to me. After a few months of missing and skipping my meditations, I found that some of the old habits have come back.

The regular exercises had rooted out most of the personal negativity I have. In fact, I was inspired to write some time ago about the need to feel good all the time and had actually practiced for a time what I preached in that article. It was also during that time that I finally acquired the courage to purchase hosting and a domain name for this blog. After a short while of actual blogging exposure, I acquired a few more domains and created sites for them and earned some money in the process.

Having seen the positive effects of meditative practices, I’m firming my resolve again to dive back to it (and make it a permanent habit) and root out all traces of negativity from my psyche. I need a clear slate especially since I’m now in the middle of researching about listbuilding. I think, after a little over a year of blogging exposure, I am now cool enough to venture into listbuilding and its related ‘sciences’. I guess it wouldn’t be long before readers will start seeing a little ‘subscribe to my list’ form somewhere in the side bar.

Here are some resource sites that deal with meditation:

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6 thoughts on “Extreme Pessimism”

    1. Thanks Diane. BTW, Please use your name (and you may use the ‘@’ sign followed by your keyphrase), if you do have plans to comment next time. 🙂

  1. I have the same problem with my wife, which leads to arguments but like I tell her, I’m not being negative at all. I’m simply thinking of what could happen so that I can plan around it in case it eventuates.

    I also use it to prepare myself for the unforeseen. There’s nothing wrong with using the ‘what if’ scenario.

    Loved that video. Those fireballs were pretty cool 😀
    Sire´s latest blog post ..How To Change Your WordPress Theme Header

    1. I understand that perfectly Sire. As an engineer, I like to draft a complete plan for something before embarking on it. My plans would include a possible worst case scenario and would have counter measures for it. The thing though is that I used to dwell so much in the worst case scenario to the extent that I end up eventually canceling the plan.

      Having recognized this ‘unhealthy pessimism’, I think I’ll be able to get over it soon enough. I have seen what I could do without it, and I want it gone completely. 🙂

  2. oh wow, speaking of meditation.. I installed this app on my blackberry that helps me meditate, cures my headache or makes me feel sleepy.

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