Happiness

Inside the mind of an Optimist

When it comes to meditation, my principle is you should always choose a guru who is at a higher energy level than you are. But one of the participants who requested for meditation classes was already at higher vibes than me. I reluctantly agreed because all he wants is to make meditation a habit.

 

He was the odd one out in the group. One of the major parts of meditation is to clean your soul from all the trauma you have been carrying around since ages. He has fewer things to let go. Everytime I did a deep cleaning session, I always saw that disappointed face and ‘it was not so useful for me’ look on his face.

 

Out of curiosity, I set up sometime with him to understand the inner mind of an optimist. While most of the things he mentioned were something I started doing since last year, I definitely envy him for that being his only way of life. 

 

In this article, we are going into the mind of Prashant Khuller, a dog lover by heart and a marketing professional by the mind.

 

Mindset of an Optimist

 

1.Gratitude

 

Prashant started the interview with this.

“I am grateful for my marriage. I am grateful for the abundance of money. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for my family”.

While I have been writing a gratitude diary every morning for the past one and half years, that has been his way of life since his childhood. Taking cue from his experience, I have started writing my gratitude diary throughout the day. It has been a cheerful experience so far.

His mother taught him to count his blessings. And he says 

“I am at the right place at the right time”

Trusting the pace of the Universe is one of the best ways to lead a life of letting go of fears and anxieties.

 

2.Lessons vs Difficulties

 

I first read this concept in the Last Lecture almost 5 years back. I have been trying hard to be that person. Just look at every failure as an opportunity for learning. But there have been times when I felt entitled. “I am entitled to a happy normal life. I can’t let this happen to me.” I held on to it for months together until I could let go of my ego and accept life for what it is.

But here he says that looking at failed opportunities as a learning helps him with maintaining his integrity. He brings his complete self to wherever he goes which in turn boosts his confidence. His secret hack to overcome social anxiety.

 

3.Black Box

 

While he calls himself lucky, he naturally uses an NLP technique which I usually teach people with a lot of baggage. The technique I teach involves making your worries as small as possible and throwing them away out of your mind based on your NLP modality.

His analogy for the same is to transfer every memory to a black box in his head. Whatever doesn’t serve him, he creates a black box and throws it into that and pushes it away into the back of his head. The emotions are felt, made peace with, lessons are learned and then stored far away. This method doesn’t let the memories interfere with everyday life while you carry the lessons like a Machine Learning model to upgrade your mental models every time something fails. 

I just loved the analogy. I spent that night thinking about how I want to represent my own emotional baggage. It looked like a floor filled with different coloured wires. I was not disentangling them. I decided to cut them off and throw them into the garbage. After a long time, I had the best sleep that night.

What does your emotional mess look like in your head?

 

4.Stop the spiral

 

He is not an advocate of toxic positivity. When the first negative thought comes, you have the choice to start its never ending spiral or cut the first thought when it shows up. While we all know it starts with just one, having that control to make a choice is what makes the difference is what he lives by.

 

“You have the talent to manipulate but you still choose not to do it because of your ethics. You control the thoughts just the same way”

This is his mantra to stop negative thinking.

 

 

The defining factor of Optimism

 

Feelings of acceptance

 

Prashant mentioned that throughout his childhood he always felt accepted at home. He knew that he was loved for whatever he was and whatever mistakes he made are just mistakes and don’t define who he was. His parents are always around to help him overcome his weakness to become his best self.

 

While some of us did experience a secure attachment style, for others who couldn’t feel accepted for who they were, it is never too late to start accepting  yourself for who you are. 

 

“You are not your mistakes. You can always be improved.”

 

Caution

 

At times, Optimism is his way of coping with life. It is a survival skill just like how pessimism is. In one-on-one meditation sessions, we worked on his resistance to be realistic as optimism might make you lose touch with reality.

 

Prashant says “While being an optimist helps me spread love and positivity around, I sometimes feel that I am in a bubble.”

 

Here ends the story of Prashant who is seeking ‘Shant’ (peace) in every moment. 

 

Note: I am working on collecting positive stories on healthy coping styles. If you are someone or knows someone who exhibits healthy coping styles, please reach out to me to share your story.

 

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