Dictionary Of Optimism: Creation

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create

Dictionary Of Optimism: Creation

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Few people are happy sitting around doing nothing.

Most want to create, produce, undertake and perhaps even leave something behind that will one day outlive them. Some play jazz music, others start companies. Some make films, others take photographs. Some give speeches, others run youth welfare organisations. Some set up libraries while others raise children. All of them want to play their part in shaping the world in which we live. They want to make a contribution, to produce something. And through this, they want to experience themselves in all their creativity, to leave their mark.

The desire – and also the necessity – to create is also essential for happiness in our lives in a more global sense.

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel via Michelangelo.net

After all, how real is our reality?

How much of that which we experience as our surroundings and our lives and define as happy or sad is objectively true, and how much do we conjure up in our own minds?

Imagine if you will a traffic jam. As you are sitting in your car, you look to the right and see a driver who is so angry about being stuck that he could explode with frustration. Then you look to your left. It’s the same situation. No one can change that anyway (except for town planners, and that only long-term). There’s someone in his car who has just rung in on his mobile phone to say he’ll be 20 minutes late and who is now enjoying some Mozart and his island of contemplative calm in an otherwise hectic schedule.

The same situation causes frustration in one person and pleasure in another. So tell me honestly, how real is reality? I’ve no idea what it means to animals, but we humans create a large proportion of our reality ourselves using our imagination and strength of mind.

Optimism feeds off both: on the one hand that you believe in yourself and make a difference in this world, and on the other that you experience and cherish it in its very essence. 

We are delighted to feature daily excerpts from Florian Langenscheidt’s inspiring Dictionary of Optimism. He is a renowned author, journalist, publisher and television presenter and has been researching and writing about happiness for over 40 years.

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