One of the toys I remember from childhood are Weebles. Weebles were egg shaped toys that had human faces and torsos and round, weighted bottoms so you could push them any which way and they would never fall down. The advertising jingle which is still stuck in my head is “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” Those Weebles could take a beating and still come up standing.
Relentless optimism is a bit like being a Weeble. It means staring fear in the face and saying, “I’m going to do it anyway.” It means getting up each time you fall down, because unlike Weebles, we humans do fall down. It means knowing deep in your core that no matter what happens, everything is going to be alright. It means never, ever giving up on yourself and your ability to make positive life changes.
My uncle started his career selling life insurance door to door. Often he would go out after dinner to catch people when they were home. Each time he rang the doorbell he did so with the conviction that the people would buy. If they didn’t, he thought about his wife and daughter at home and told himself that the next person would buy. That’s relentless optimism.
During some dark times several years ago, I made the choice to change my view of life. I worked hard to make that shift happen by consciously focusing on my thoughts and implementing a regular meditation practice. One day a work colleague said to me, “Martha you are always so positive.” At first I was shocked and then I realized that it was true. I had changed. That doesn’t mean that I had eradicated all of the negative and difficult parts of my life. Instead I had learned how to see the glass half full.
Relentless optimism does not mean denying the rough times in life, or the times when you feel angry, sad or depressed. Nor does it mean downplaying the many challenges in the world today. What it does mean is acknowledging our personal and global struggles and knowing deep down that fundamentally life really is good. There are clouds in the sky, but the sky is still blue.
We are all works in progress. There are areas in our lives that work beautifully and others that may need some changes. Relentless optimism means getting up each morning with the knowledge that positive change is not only possible, it’s probable.