Living A FUNtastic Life (Part 11)

by Patrick Liew on August 10, 2011

Every one of us is created to be optimistic.

Being optimistic starts as a choice. It becomes a vital part of my attitude.

As I live out the qualities of optimism, it becomes a habit and eventually a part of my lifestyle.

When I was 9 years old and studying in a neighbourhood school, I went through one of the most embarrassing moments in my life.

One day, I was day dreaming while I was going to the toilet. Without realizing it, I walked into the Female Toilet.

Mr. Phoo (pronounced as ‘Foo’), one of the teachers caught me. He told me angrily, “Boy, did you know what you did? How can you go into a Female Toilet?”

He stared at me with piercing eyes. It was one of the longest moments in my life.

Finally, he asked me for my name and the class that I was in. He told me firmly, “I want you to go to your form teacher and let her know the truth.

“Tell her that you-walked-into-a-Female-Toilet!”

You can imagine it was one of the longest walk back to my class.

Meanwhile, it was like my brain was detached from my body.

It was talking to me about the worst things possible. Just for fun, I have classified this mental negativity into the following categories:

1.      False Guilt

“You are a bad person!”

2.      Mental Anguish

“Your teacher will scold you and maybe, cane you.” (Corporal Punishment was allowed during my time.)  

3.      Psychological Torture

“Your teacher will remember this incident forever and ever. She will make your life miserable from now onward.”

4.      Systemic Breakdown

“Your teacher will send you to the principal. He will make an example of you at the school assembly. He will cane you publicly.”

5.      Doomsday Scenario

“Your principal and teacher will call for a meeting with your parents. They will remove you from the school. Your life is over.”


I finally reached the staff room and stood before my form teacher.

With sweat flowing down my already wet body, I told her, “Teacher, I’m sorry. I accidentally walk into the Female Toilet.”

She responded, “Okay. You can go back to your class now.”

Nothing else happened after that.

You may think this is just a story. But I have to confess to you the negative self-talk runs through my mind, not just during this event but throughout many parts of my life.

Before I continue, it is important to note that being optimistic does not mean that I am not realistic. I am not deceiving myself about reality, including the challenges in life.

It also does not mean that I do not recognize negative information or anything negative. I am also by no means suggesting that I can change every situation and do the impossible.

Optimism basically means looking at the bright side of life. It is the positive way I view the things that happened in my life and how I respond to them.

If I approach life in a positive way with the help of our Creator, I can potentially experience a happier life.

To develop an optimistic thinking process, I have discovered some important lessons:

1.      Pursuit

 I have a goal to inculcate optimism and leverage on it to achieve success.

 2.      Purpose

I can be optimistic because everything that happened in my life happened for a reason, meaning, and purpose. Life’s experiences are useful feedback and learning experience.

They help me improve and become a better person.

3.      Personality

I will enhance positive emotions , motivation, competence, and well-being.

If I have an optimistic personality, I will be in a better position to manage whatever life offers me.

4.      Perspective

How I view my life will determine what my life will become. The external world is a reflection of the landscape in my mind.

I choose to be optimistic so that I can enjoy my life and live life to the fullest.

I may not be able to change my situation, but I can change myself.

I may not be able to change my circumstances, but I can give meaning and significance to it.

I may not be able to change my challenges, but I can change my response to it.

I may not be able to change my failures, but I can rise above them. I can learn from and leverage on them to make me a better person.

5.      Partnerships

I enhance my optimism by ensuring that I feed my mind with inputs that will promote optimistic thinking.

I also interact with optimistic people so that I can learn from them and, through them, increase my level of optimism.

6.      Practice

Like any skills in life, I need to learn about it, practice it, and improve upon it until it becomes a habit and eventually a part of my lifestyle.


Optimism can open the door to living a happier life.



I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: What other principles and strategies can we apply to enhance our optimistic thinking?




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