Dispositional Optimism Essay

1996 Words8 Pages
Dispositional optimism is a topic discussed by Dan P. McAdams on page 48 of “The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self.” Dispositional optimism is “a generalized expectancy that good, as opposed to bad, outcomes will generally occur” and that it has positive effects when coping with illness (48). Much research has shown that the power of positive thinking can help people “recover from illness, endure personal hardship, and triumph over a host of other adversaries” (48). While often the effects are exaggerated, empirical evidence shows that some of this may be true. When I first started to encounter medical hardship, aside from the breaks, sprains, strains, and pulls I encountered through middle school, I was in high…show more content…
It is indeed true that pain has stronger arms than anything else, at least in my personal experience. Perhaps this is why I have a tendency to remember more of the bad and overlook much of the good in my life. This is a great source of conflict that I have experienced, as it often interferes with my personal relationships. Similarly, on page 33, Hampl states “our capacity to move forward as a developing being rests on a healthy relation with the past.” During the last section of my writing, I struggle with developing a healthy relationship with my past. While I have accepted the hardships I have had to go through, I am not proud of how I handled them. When I look back, things do not seem as bad as they were, but in the present moment I could not have imagined them worse. Perhaps the most trouble I have with the past is my problems with trust. I have not yet relearned how to trust and have hope in those I surround myself with, and this negatively impacts my ability to develop as I should. At this point, I am working to create a healthy relationship with my past and repair my future, simultaneously. I need not learn to tell my stories, but listen to what my stories tell me. I will have a healthier future than I have had in the
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