Sweep Pessimism Out the door

Sweeping pessimism out the door is an important skill to learn. When we set a goal, chant about it, then follow through with the action steps to accomplish it we often have to deal with pessimistic thinking. It can hamper us, setting up a headwind against the forward direction we want to take.

If you’re wondering what it is, answer the following questions.
Do you usually look at why something can’t be done?
Are you a person who sees a glass as half empty, who always looks at the negative side of a question?

What President Ikeda says about pessimistic thinking:

“In accordance with the principle of 3,000 realms in a single moment of life, pessimistic thoughts or feelings take form, just as they are, in reality, producing negative results. People who have negative thoughts create effects for themselves that perfectly match their thinking.” P.10, Faith Into Action

To produce these results is not an occasional thought. It means thinking this way a good part of the time.

Optimistic thinkers create effects for themselves that perfectly match their thinking as well. Most of us are a mixture of the two, producing both negative and positive effects but we can tip the scale in a positive direction.

Creating a Mental Blueprint

This is the way I think of it. When we chant for a goal, it’s as though we are creating a mental blueprint which will show up in the concrete world at some point in the future. Such a blueprint works for us when we set up the conditions we want, such as seeing our goal as already accomplished. Or it can work against us if we set up the conditions we don’t want, such as chanting for a goal, but focusing on our fears and doubts.

When we take a big step forward or confront a difficult obstacle, there will always be a spiritual struggle. Are we going to give in to our worries, fears, and doubts, or are we going to keep an eye on what we want? Which blueprint do we want to show up?

Pessimistic Thinking is a Habit Which Can be Changed

Don’t be discouraged if you’ve realized you tend to be a pessimistic thinker. It is a habit, a way of looking of things which can be changed more readily than you might think.

Steps to Change your Mind Set

Begin by chanting longer to raise your life condition. Then chant for what you want.
Let’s say you’ve set a goal and when it comes time to move forward you think, ”I don’t think I can do this.” Or what if (name the fear) happens?’ In that moment:
1. Remind yourself of your goal.
2. Remind yourself that you want to create what you want – not what you don’t want.
3. Shift your thinking to see your goal already accomplished, exactly as you want it.

If I Can do it, Anybody Can

In midlife I was a negative, pessimistic thinker and my outer life reflected that to me – life was a struggle.

Then I learned to chant and was introduced to the law of cause and effect and oneness of self and its environment. I studied the teachings of President Ikeda and saw how he handled obstacles.

I decided to change my way of thinking as an experiment. To begin I set a goal and chanted about it. Then at least fifty times a day I would catch myself focusing on my fears. I knew if I continued I would create what I feared. So I asked myself. What do you want to create here, what you fear or what you want? Then I practiced shifting to focus on what I wanted, my goal, seeing it as already completed. I achieved the ‘impossible’ goal.

I was a convert. If I can shift my mind set, you can too. Anyone can

  • Carla Orcutt says:

    Fears, and therefore pessimism, maybe protective, guarding against failure and all the emotions that accompany failure. However, Buddhism gives the practitioner the courage to fail and NOT be overwhelmed. Another path, another way will open to achieve the goal.

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