Tragic Optimism Can Help Even on the Darkest Days

It’s a mess out there right now. With the pandemic, riots, looting and killer bees on their way, it’s like we’re trapped in some sci-fi movie. The only difference is – we don’t know when this story will end. So how do you deal with all the fear and confusion and anger.

Something that helps me is knowing that there is a choice. Every morning when you wake up, you get to choose how you will spend that day; you get to choose if your emotions will consume you or enlighten you. Make no mistake about it, you are the only one who can make that choice.

Yes, there are days when it is hard to find the good, I’m not denying that. Other days when it’s beyond difficult to find a reason to get out of bed. On those days, remember the words of the famous holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl: “tragic optimismâ€. He said that to survive the concentration camps, it helped him and others find meaning in every single day.

Now, I’m not asking you to deny your emotions. In fact, I encourage you to feel the anger and the sadness and the pain. Just don’t let them consume you. No matter how dark a situation may be, look for that flicker of light. Make a choice to find meaning in every single day and ask yourself each morning: What can I intentionally do today that will bring meaning to my life.


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