Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Bright Side of Optimism

From Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Q: How many pessimists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None: It is not worth changing.

Q: How many optimists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None: It will go back on by itself.


In studies of heart disease and optimism, the research suggests that optimistic people live about ten years longer, both in terms of reduced cardiac disease and reduced cardiovascular events.

The psychologist Martin Seligman, who claims to have been born a pessimist, developed the idea of “learned optimism”, and believes that optimistic thinking can be taught and that it is healtheir to be optimistic.
I find it depressing to know that I have heart disease and needed three stents, and downright depressing that I have heart damage from a heart attack. I would prefer to feel optimistic.

What to do. Perhaps I should watch the ending scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail about looking on the bright side of life.

Optimistic Songs

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Give a little Whistle, from Pinocchio
(The Always look on the Bright Side of Life was allegedly a parody of certain Disney songs)

Johnny Mercer's Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Hakuna Matata

Whistle While you Work: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Frank Sinatra sings On the Sunny Side of the Street

Willie Nelson Sings Blue Skies

Marilyn Monroe and Put on a Happy Face

Barbara Streisand sings Happy Days are Here Again

News Articles

Optimism reduces Heart Disease

Mayo Clinic article

Case study using Learned Optimism