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3-2-1… smile!


Stop just a moment. Have you noticed how in this day and age, being “positive” has little to do with happiness anymore (but rather, quite the opposite)? This has been the case around the world for over two years now.

What if we were to bring being “positive”, and optimism, back to its former glory?

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, makes it clear: a tiny change can have huge results. Loosely inspired by his newsletter, 3-2-1, we put our cards on the table, paying homage to optimism in 3 quotes, 2 facts, and 1 idea.


3 quotes to think differently about optimism

“Drink! For you know not whence you came, nor why. Drink! For you know not why you go, nor where.” 
Omar Khayyâm, Persian poet and scholar from the 12th century – Or as we proclaimed in the 20th century, Qué será, será.

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” 
Cormac McCarthy, American writer – Give Cormac a point!

“Pessimism of the intellect does not prevent optimism of the will.” 
Antonio Gramsci, Italian philosopher, writer and communist – certain communists are wiser than others   

2 scientific facts to understand optimism

#1. The brain has an easier time processing negative information than it does positive information. Probably due to our primal instinct for survival. According to an American study, five positive images are needed to make up for one negative image. For anyone still looking to explain the plethora of cat videos online, you have your answer! The world has a thirst for optimism. What are you going to expose yourself to today?

#2. That same human brain is blessed with extraordinary plasticity. Meaning it can be reprogrammed at any age, regardless of its lot in the game of genetics roulette (for a large part responsible for our predisposition, or lack thereof, for optimism) and in spite of all real-life experiences we go through. In other words, with regular training, you can teach your brain to reorient its attention towards the positive things surrounding it. Through repetition, it will develop a natural reflex towards optimism.  
1 idea to practice optimism
And why not?!  
Smiling fights off the stress hormone cortisol and releases dopamine and endorphins. So, rather than waiting to be happy to smile, smile to be happy!


And also, because over the last two years…

  • The first experimental vaccine against breast cancer reached clinical trial stage following promising initial results.
  • A second patient was declared to be naturally cured of HIV.
  • A 20-year-old Indian woman created software that translates sign language instantaneously.
  • Blue whales were once again spotted in the Antarctic Ocean, after being on the brink of extinction.
  • Giant pandas were removed from the list of endangered mammals in China.