What’s Wrong with Rose Colored Glasses?

If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!"
-Lemony Snicket

I have written quite a few posts reflecting on the power of a positive attitude. In my post, Change Your Body by Changing Your Perspective, I quote Dr. Wayne Dyer from his book, The Power of Intention where he says the following:

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.

I believe strongly in this idea.

On the other hand, I also wrote a post, Being an Optimistic Realist, where I discuss the importance of facing reality for what it is and avoiding wasting time and energy on pursuits that are clearly unrealistic.

So Which is it?

Should we go through life with rose colored glasses or not? I say, yes! I believe that we can have our rose colored glasses and eat them, too… I mean… have reality, too.

5 Ways to Have Our Rose Colored Glasses and Reality, Too

  1. Keep our eyes open for friendly encounters. Look for ways to help others and look for kindness in others behaviors. We miss these when we have a poor attitude, and therefore, develop a negative view of reality. When we look for and expect to see kindness, we will see it all the time.
  2. Avoid focusing on people and scenarios that bring us down. Negativity can be contagious and self-perpetuating. It drains us of energy we need to make positive changes. Sometimes it feels easy and comfortable to sit and stew in negativity. It’s a luxury that is quite costly to our spirit. The sooner we can turn around, the easier and less damaging it will be.
  3. Take action toward our desires and expect that they will come true. This expectation will bring us the motivation and persistence needed to accomplish our goals. If we don’t believe our dreams can come true, we’re much less likely to make a strong, focused effort.
  4. Meditate on our intention to realize our desires. Meditating on an intention builds faith, aligns our will with God’s and brings guidance and energy to lead us in the direction of our desires.
  5. Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude keeps us focused on what is good in our lives right now and builds momentum for multiplication of those things. It may seem cliché, but it is hard to overestimate the power of gratitude.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: http://beinspiredeveryday.com/2007/10/12/whats-wrong-with-rose-colored-glasses/

1 comment

  1. Shirley - Fun Spirit says:

    I totally agree! Being optimistic is good for you. Happiness is hard work. Since bad news and cynics and pessimists abound, it’s easy to believe in a negative life view. But take the time and find the people who volunteer, donate to charity and send their stories to kindness web sites, and you’ll discover there are lots of good people out there.

    Being positive is more work, but the rewards are great. :0)

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