Living Optimistically

good-luckbad-luckwho-knowsImagine you’re driving down the street and the car in front of you is going 15 miles below the speed limit. It’s a one lane road and you’re trapped. How do you react? Frantically yelling at the driver to get out of the way? Or do you try to figure out a way to get around them to get to where you simply must be…now? Or… do you see it as a sign from the cosmos telling you, you need to slow down?

One of my favorite Zen stories is about a farmer whose horse escapes and runs off. His neighbors feel sorry for him because of his bad luck. But the farmer says, “Good luck. Bad luck. Who knows.” Then the horse returns with two more horses and the neighbors celebrate his good luck. The farmer reacts in the same way as before, seeing it as neither good luck or bad luck. When his son falls off the horse and breaks his leg, and the neighbors remark about his bad luck, the farmer still takes a wait and see attitude. It’s neither good luck nor bad luck. Then when the army comes through town to take the sons to war, the farmer’s son is left behind because of his broken leg. So what was it? Good luck or bad luck?  (see this story told more fully here:

Optimism is defined as: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. The farmer in the Zen story is an optimist because he believes that ultimately, no matter what happens, the future will work out.

In stressful times, we have a tendency to focus on our bad luck. But what if that slow driver saved you from a car accident? What if it changed your arrival time to cause you to run into a friend you hadn’t seen in years and were trying to re-connect with. We don’t always see the cause and effect of bad luck with good luck, but if we accept that it is there, wouldn’t all the bad luck be so much easier to take?

So as you struggle to deal with all the demands of your life, don’t put your focus on the challenges, have confidence that there is a positive side to every frustration. Find ways to insert joy and fun into the moments. I loved what this customer said about spilling on her shirt, “I had Mexican and the salsa dropped on my shirt…but wait, I had my Cravaat on! Lucky day…” Sometimes there are things we can do to help us deal with the challenges in life. Find little helpers in your life and if you encounter a frustrating situation, look for the little things that can help ease the burden next time. And remember, bad luck and good luck go hand in hand.

Optimism is one of the themes of our blogs because we believe our fashionable adult bib styles will give you peace of mind and promote optimism in your life. Our stylish adult bibs help you deal with some of the bad luck in your life– food spills– and we do it with dignity. We hope you are inspired.

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