The Attitude of Optimism

You can either view everything that comes to you as a problem or you can see it as an opportunity.

Is your glass half full, or half empty?

When you start looking at your glass as half full, the rest of life will appear to you as more full as well.

Let’s revisit the traffic example for a moment: the half empty view is that the traffic jam as just another example how messed up the freeway system is and how poorly people drive. You could get stressed out about how late it is going to make you. You could get angry at the people cutting you off and get self-righteous that these people need to taught by you how to wait their turn.

The half full view is now you have some the extra time to listen to your good music or to learn something new in the audio book you picked up for your commutes. You could practice being the super friendly driver that lets everybody in front of you because you have decided that you have got all the time in the world and you want to help people along their way.

It is all up to you.

The work project given to you today can either be looked at as yet another example of how your client has unrealistic expectations of you and is always making their urgencies your problems by leaving them to the last minute.

Or it could be viewed as a challenge to thrive under a tight deadline and as an opportunity to show off your talent, do your best work, and “go the extra mile” for that client.

It is all up to you.

The poor test grade your child brings home from school could be seen as a source of disappointment that leads to punishments and belittling comments about how they are not responsible enough to study properly.

Or it can be seen as a blessing, in that it reveals the area your child needs some extra study and now you know how to help them learn the material so it is available to them later on down the line.

Again, it is all up to you.

Dr. Martin Seligman in his psychological research of Optimists vs. Pessimists showed that optimistic people tend to be happier and healthier, both physically as well as mentally. They have better relationships – at work, with friends, and with their families. They also tend to accomplish more than pessimists. Optimists get more promotions and make more money than pessimists.

The title of his book is “Learned Optimism” which is reassuring because if you find yourself as more of a half empty type of person than you’d like to be, the good news is you can learn to see the glass as half full. It starts with choosing to do so.

Optimism vs. Pessimism…Problems vs. Opportunities. You can apply this attitude to the uncomfortable emotions you feel at times. The negatives can be turned into positives. If you feel guilty about something, that is your opportunity to bring more acceptance of yourself into your present moment and more awareness of how you want to do things in the future. If you feel sad about something, then at least you know what you don’t want and now you can look for and choose what you do want. If you feel angry about something, then it is showing you where a boundary was crossed for you and now you can set a new boundary so your needs and wants are better met.

There are always two sides to every coin. In every situation and in every moment, you always have the opportunity to choose to “look at the bright side”, to choose positivity and that “it’s all good”, to choose optimism and that “everything’s going to be just fine”.

It is all up to you.

And as Dr. Seligman demonstrated, learning to choose positivity will make you healthier and happier so why not order up a glass of optimism today?

*Exerpted from the Being Well Lifestyles Home Study Course by Dr. Jay Warren.

Drawing on over two decades of experience as a hands-on holistic practitioner, Dr. Jay Warren is a primary healthcare provider and licensed chiropractor in the San Diego area. He has spent tens of thousands of clinical hours helping his patients achieve their optimal health potential through holistic approaches bolstered by years of personal experimentation, education and research. Dr. Jay creates customized plans integrating exercise, nutrition and stress management strategies to overcome a myriad of health challenges. For more information, email or visit

About the Author

Dr. Jay Warren has been a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor for 17 years. He is also the Wellness Care Coordinator at the CAP Wellness Center in San Diego, CA where 90% of his practice is pregnant or postpartum women and babies under one year old. Dr. Jay is a proud member of the ICPA and APPPAH (the Association or Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health) and the host of the podcast “Healthy Births, Happy Babies” in iTunes. His online program, “Connecting with Baby” guides pregnant women through processes to strengthen maternal bonding for a happier pregnancy, gentler birth and easier post-partum experience. Dr. Jay is also the proud father of his 3 year old son, Niko who keeps him very busy (and happy) outside of the office.