"The Optimist" by Laurence Shorter. There is much misunderstanding about what optimism actually means. Essentially it is about believing that the world is the optimum it can be. This is important because without this belief we waste huge amounts of effort trying to defend ourselves against imagined hazards. This theme is another angle on what I say on my Evolution and creation page. Shorter spent about 2 years seeking out optimists all over the world to ask them how they maintained their happy outlook on life. Most of the rest of us get sucked into pessimism, or even depression, by all the bad news bombarding us, but some very famous and wealthy people attribute their success to their optimism. He shares the story of his quest and his adventures with us in an humorous and honest style and most will pick up a few gems of insight from his experiences. However, this is not so much a self-help book as an autobiography about the author following his passion for a short period of his life.
This passion and conviction was successful in bringing about some remarkable meetings with influential leaders, to ask them about the secrets of their success and their outlook. Generally, though, he finds that putting their wise words of advice into practice is not at all easy. Richard Branson's comment about enjoying every single moment of his live was memorable. One could say it is easy for him to not do anything he does not enjoy but maybe that is looking at it the wrong way around. Fix the thoughts first and then the outer circumstances will fix themselves. Do what you love and the success (however that is defined) will follow? One thing that puzzles me is that I learned about this book from Subud literature and I am sure Shorter is a practising member but his book makes no mention of a practice that is probably an important part of his life.
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