The Optimist Creed by Christian D Larson! If this is not inspiration, then I don’t know what is. I first came across this life changing poem in 2006 and it is profound. It is an honor to share it with you today. So here goes,…
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.
To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
So where did this poem come from? This poem is an extract from the book Your Forces and How To Use Them which was published in 1912. I dont know about you but I have found the poem to be truly moving and empowering. In fact, it is reported that this poem was at one time used in hospitals to assist with the recovery of patients.
In a world that is so full of worry and negativity, we really need this poem plastered on the front page of each newspaper and shown in television ads. I surely believe that in the same way it was used in hospitals, this poem could heal and do a lot fo good for our society today.
Christian D Larson was a someone who truly believed in the powers within us. He genuinely had faith in humanity. In the first chapter of Larson writes, ‘This is not mere speculation. Nor is it a simply beautiful dream. The more we study the lives of people who have achieved, and the more we study our own experience everyday, the more convinced we become that there is no reason whatever why any individual should not realise all his ambitions and more.” Therefore, Larson had a passion to see each one of us succeed.
Now let’s look in detail at some of the lines in this famous inspirational poem.
The Optimist Creed- line 3: To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
Ask yourself how many times when you meet people do you exude health and happiness. Moaning seems to be what most of us are used to. It makes for great small talk. We like to complain, blame the weather, blame the government and blame almost everything. Now what if we could, as Christian D Larson recommends, promise ourselves to steer off negativity and be the bearers of joy. There are plenty of positives in life but you would have to stay off current affairs to see them. If your small talk comes from CNN or SKY news then you will mostly be the bearer of bad news.
The Optimist Creed- line 7 :To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
When a colleague gets a promotion, are you happy for them? When a neighbour gets a new car are you genuinely happy for their success? Do not allow someone’s successes to bring you sadness, instead they should be a source of inspiration. We can celebrate others’ successes and draw motivation and faith from them. So it is a choice we can make to either eat our hearts out with envy or see the successes of others as evidence that it is possible to achieve great things.
The Optimist Creed- line 8: To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
I cannot remember where I saw a saying that ‘living in regret is like driving a car in reverse’. Surely there is no progress. We live in the now. The past is gone and we cannot undo it. Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now writes, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to the past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation.” So if you can make your focus be the present moment you will eliminate a lot of negativity.
The Optimist Creed-line 10: To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
It is very easy to criticise others. It is is one of the easiest things to do. However, in our criticising we are not only taking the focus from us we are also portraying our character. For there cannot be criticism without the critic and the criticised. In the criticising you are participating in negative talk. So as easy as it may be, every time you want to criticise, try to think on what else you can be doing to better yourself.
The Optimist Creed- line 11: To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Worry consumes us a human species. Here is bible verse from Matthew 6 vs 25-26, “ do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Now it does not matter whether you are Christian or not but this verse does speak some truth.
As intelligent people we worry a lot, we like to predict the future and we like to be certain. Unlike the birds of the air who roam freely across the skies, we never look up the sky. Our attention is so much narrowed down to our own lives and the troubles ahead that we foresee. And even though our logical minds know from experience that the worrying is unnecessary, it is a habit we just can’t shake off. Most of the things we worry about never happen and even if they do, we just overcome them. Worry does has no benefits, it saps our energy levels, it can lead to depression and other related mental conditions. In the words of Michael Beckwith, “worry has no transformational value“.
The Optimist Creed line 13: To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
This is all about having a positive attitude and outlook on life. I love this saying by Oscar Wilde, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Where are you looking in life? Attitude can take us a long way. With a positive attitude we can see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty. Two people can be in the same situation but perceive it differently, all because of the attitude. With attitude we rise above circumstances and let our positivity carry us through.
This poem although short is worth a thousand words. If you could, please carry it with you in your heart wherever you go and promise yourself to live by it or at least try. I am sure you will find that negativity will be replaced by positivity. As I mentioned before, there is so much persimism around especially in the news. We just need a little inspiration to lift us up and this poem does just that, hence although it is over a 100 years old, it is still retains it’s title, The Optimist Creed.
If you would like to own a copy of The Optimist Creed, you can grab it off Amazon.