Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm No Philosopher

Hello Optimists,

I've studied a bit of philosophy, just a bit, and it really opened my eyes to a lot of things I had never considered before. It also gave me a lot of headaches. But I find that philosophy is not something to be taken lightly as it takes quite a while for your brain to wrap around some of the common beliefs it challenges. One thing that I did learn about, sans the headache, was existential anxiety. Believe me, it sounds much more complicated than it really is. (But if you want to sound smart at a party, definitely bring it up. You can cooly sip your cosmo and ask, "So what are your thoughts about existential anxiety?") Anyway, it's grounded on the belief of free will- that we are free to do what we choose however we choose to do it. Basically, the theory behind existential philosophy is that we realize that we really don't have to do any one thing, it is up to us to do whatever we want. This realization makes us really nervous because it's up to us to make every decision in life without being able to blame anyone but ourselves. If we live with one idea of what should be done and accomplished we will live with a constant anxiety of screwing it up.

One thing we know is that we can't live with anxiety. It's just not healthy. And this goes for existential anxiety too. We can't be living our life stressing out about, well...living our life. It's just too much to handle, and this will give you a headache too.

When I came across today's quote, it reminded me of the lesson I learned while studying philosophy.

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." -Elbert Hubbard

We're always worried about making a mistake no matter what the situation. It's good to be conscious of our decisions, but not to the point where we develop a complex over it. We have got to step out of that state of worry and into the state of positivity. Constantly fearing you will make a mistake can only assure you do things in the absolute safest way possible. And like I've already told you, I'm definitely no philosopher, but in my mind, safest is not always best. We can't let our mind be filled with thoughts of fear- we just need to concentrate on being and doing the best we can be. So today, I hope you feel a bit smarter after learning some philosophy, but most of all, I hope you don't make the mistake of thinking about mistakes.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

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