25 February 2014

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” – Oscar Wilde

Why do some people soak up life, seeking out adventures to enhance their understanding of the world, while others seem to close off from it, dismissing potentially positive experiences with sarcasm?

Think about it a little deeper and a few ideas spring to mind. Ask yourself; were you cynical as a child? Did you scoff at Sesame Street or assume that your teachers’ encouragement was all pretence? For most of us, the answer is likely to be ‘no’, as I think cynicism sets in when people experience profound disappointment and don’t have the necessary encouragement or support to bounce back and try again.

We all get knock backs in life, but it’s the people who pick themselves back up and stubbornly refuse to allow it to dampen their passion who retain that sense of childlike enthusiasm. These are the people who say ‘yes’ to things and open themselves up instead of avoiding potential risk.

You could even argue that cynicism is a self-defence mechanism, but it’s actually pretty ineffective when you think about it. In life, you get what you focus on so it stands to reason that if you’re always worrying about being disappointed, the likelihood is that you will continue to attract experiences that reinforce this feeling.

So, what do you do if want to reverse this trend? Firstly, start by saying ‘yes’ to experiences and allowing yourself to stray outside your comfort zone. If you catch yourself reacting to someone or something with scepticism or negativity, challenge that voice in your head. Why are you feeling like this? Is it founded in reason or just a habitual reaction? Whilst it won’t be easy at first, with time you can change patterns of negativity and free your mind from any preconceived constraints that you might have.

I’ve often heard positive people described as wearing “rose tinted glasses”, but I’d rather be wearing a pair of those than grey tinted specs that make everything seem dark and dreary. Wouldn’t you?

 

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