I’ve been noticing lately that some of the most intelligent, creative, and spiritual people I know, when talking about the future, suddenly default to pessimism. This is the case whether they are talking about their personal prospects or the fate of the Earth and her inhabitants.
On some levels, it’s understandable. We’re bombarded by a news cycle that’s centered on all the things going wrong. We’re trained by our culture to look for the problems in our lives, even if they are just 5 percent of the whole picture.
Yet I believe that being pessimistic about the future is just plain lazy thinking.
Why? On a personal level, unless you’re out in the cold, homeless and worrying about your next meal, or sitting in a hospice facility somewhere – and in either of those cases, you’re pretty unlikely to be reading this – you’re doing well.
As BlackLion says, you’ve overcome every challenge you’ve ever faced in your life, up until this very moment.
In the big picture, we’re living at a time where, globally, there is less disease, poverty, and violence than ever before in human history. Look it up. Actually, even in the crucible that was 2017, so many amazing things happened to improve life on our lovely Earth (my thanks to Rob Brezsny for the link). Awareness and compassion continue to grow.
Are there problems in this world? Absolutely. There is plenty of backlash against the progress we’ve made. There are environmental situations that have the potential to make life on Earth more challenging. There are diseases, war, abuse, death, and taxes.
Yet we are here to learn and grow. When you neglect all the things you’ve learned, and default to the cynical babble that you hear on TV, that’s lazy thinking.
You’re unnecessarily giving away your power when you do that.
So how can you be more proactive?
My favorite tool at the moment is awareness. Listen to yourself – the way you speak about the future, in particular. Pay attention to the words you use when you talk to friends, post on social media, or even think to yourself in the privacy of your own mind.
Don’t judge yourself. You’re doing the hard work of breaking what’s probably a very old pattern.
But I challenge you to listen, and notice, and then begin to make the shift.
Bonus homework: stop paying such close attention to the news cycle. I promise, you can stay informed – and eliminate a bunch of toxins from your psyche – by only tuning in to it once a week.
What the world needs most from us – the dreamers, the activists, those who work our conscious magick – is our faith, optimism, and inspired action. Focus more on what you do want than what you don’t, and let your words (and deeds) reflect that sacred focus.
We’ve got this.