109 reasons it’s good to expect “The sun will come out tomorrow”


109 reasons it’s good to expect “The sun will come out tomorrow” – Optimism

Powerful Public Speaking Techniques Peter Billingham
Annie
would say:

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There’ll be sun!

Voltaire takes a different view on the weather forecast:

“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.”

There are days for me when I have the attitude of Annie and other days when the view of Voltaire casts a gloomy shadow and blocks my eyes from the rays of hope that shine brightly on the path ahead. What about you?

Half Full or Half Empty?
The classic question asks, “are you a half glass full or half glass empty person?” It’s not that simple. I could research even more and come down to a solid psychological understanding with tomes of research to back up the arguments that an optimistic lifestyle increases longevity and physical/emotional health. But bottom line for me, optimism is a choice. Do I choose to see sunshine tomorrow? Do you choose to pick up your sunglasses or your rain coat as you think about tomorrow? One dictionary defines optimism as, “A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.” I like that. So I try to choose optimism. I try to choose sunshine. I try to choose hope. (Tweetable)

But, truthfully, sometimes I fail. I can see the clouds somedays.

Sunglasses or Umbrella?
The umbrella carrying critics of an optimistic outlook can shout, “Pollyanna,” they can whistle with Brian-esque sarcasm, “always look on the bright side of life,” but I try to choose optimism. It just makes sense to me, what about you? The alternative doesn’t seem worth thinking about as a strategy for life. But just as health is not the absence of sickness, optimism is not simply the absence of pessimism. This is why for me it is a choice.

What is Optimism?
In “The Biology of Hope,” anthropologist Lionel Tiger argued that optimism is one of the most defining adaptive characteristics of a human being. What was significant about his definition was that this was not a objective optimism or universal optimism. His view is optimism depends on what an individual regards as desirable. My optimism, may not be your optimism. The point here for me is that the choice for optimism is the only valid choice. My circumstances and situation could dictate different outcomes but the choice for tomorrow, however that looks, should be optimism. When I think about tomorrow I could choose to think about what could go wrong. I prefer and try to choose to think about what could go right. What about you?

“Hope is the fuel that the human heart runs on. A car crash or a diving accident can paralyse a body, but the death of hope paralyses the spirit.” John Ortberg

It Could Be Worse
Many years ago, I listened to a speech by John Ortberg. An outstanding communicator and public speaker, Ortberg was speaking about gratitude and contentment, intrinsic elements to developing an optimistic viewpoint on life. In a powerful public speaking “call back” technique, he used the repeatable soundbite, “it could be worse.” Apart from showing the power when public speaking to use this technique, (evidence of this power is that many years later I can still remember this key phrase) he said when you get back to your car in the car park, and you look at the brand-new BMW next to you, and then look at your 8 year old car, chant to yourself, “it could be worse.” As you walk into your modest and small home, thinking a new larger house would bring happiness, say out loud, “it could be worse.” That is a choice. It is a choice for being grateful for what we have today, just as is choosing to expect sunshine tomorrow.

What If The Sky Is Dark?
What happens, when the choices for tomorrow’s weather are taken from us? How do we respond then? There are many people today whose sunshine tomorrow will be blocked and they have no control over that situation. How do you choose optimism then? The lives of Viktor Frankl and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are two who faced such choices and their lives are testament to the choice for optimism for tomorrow even facing death today.

Life Is Beautiful
Alongside those, and standing as tall, is 109 -year-old Alice Herz-Sommer. I came across her story while reading an excellent article on developing emotional fitness by Diana Boufford. Take 1:22 seconds to watch Alice speak about the choice of seeing sunshine over showers tomorrow. (the advert is a pain but skip it) Her words, “life is beautiful” are a repeatable soundbite that is echoing through the chambers of my mind. When I look at my tomorrows, as I can see them today, I could see a gale blowing in from the East. The weather is fair now, but without warning the needle on the barometer can fall and remain low, wet weather could be ahead, that much maybe true. But, the Sun is shining somewhere. I am trying hard and want my choice to be grab the sun screen and shades because truly “life is beautiful, and “The sun’ll come out Tomorrow.”

 

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Posted on by Peter Billingham in Blog Posts, Happiness, Legacy, Public Speaking

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

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