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Pascal's Optimism

David Sherry
4 min read

In Pascal’s Wager, you choose to believe in God, because the consequences of not doing so are greater than doing so.

You pick the choice which protects your downside and gives you a potential upside.

Today, the meaning we experience and how we interpret the events around us is a type of wager around optimism and meaning.

See, we choose how we experience the world around us and the meaning within it.

There are options.

And the stories we believe in are the tools by which we interpret the world around us.

But we were never taught how to interpret.

There isn’t a right way, but there is a way that makes your *experience* of life better.

And this isn’t to put your head in the sand and ignore reality.

The room for pessimism is in preparedness. But when that pessimism turns to nihilism, or self-doubt and lack of enthusiasm, I believe you’ve selected the option which only brings you the greatest detriment, and does nothing to improve the situation.

So, like Pascal’s Wager, you can choose Pascal's Optimism.

You can also choose stories that help you interpret the world around you so that it is filled with meaning.

Crazy, or happily in control of your narrative?

What I believe about the world has an impact on how I feel. And I know to help others, I need to be in as good of a place as possible.

So I choose to be in that space. I choose to rearrange interpretations of events so that they contain lessons and meaning.

But all of it takes practice, and of course, my version of this is not perfect, nor is anyone else.

So here’s the practice:

Ask: "What is the lesson?"

Behind every situation is a lesson, and it’s up to you to find it.

This chapter of your life, this series of events, these repeated patterns you’re seeing… they’re meant to nudge you to discover something you hadn’t yet seen or understood.

If you find it, you’ll find meaning.

And I’ll tell you how it works, sharing with you how the magic trick comes together. It still won’t ruin anything about the change you experience.

This works because things can either be done from fear, concern and doubt or curiosity, learning and love.

When you look for the lesson, you switch into curiosity and you move out of fear. It's as simple as that.

Here is another question:

Ask, “What am I trying to GET from this situation?”

When we try and “get” something from a situation, we are inherently in a state of lack.

We wouldn’t try and get something if we felt we had it.

So, whatever it is that we want, we feel we don’t have, and that… doesn’t feel good.

So now we’re no longer in a healthy space because our interpretation of the event is we need something else to be whole. Which makes our whole approach off, and leads us to be ineffective at actually obtaining that thing.

Have you ever heard people say you can attract things into your life?

Trying to get something is the fastest way to push those things away from you.

Instead, if you are giving, you receive it.

This isn’t just a spiritual thought, it’s a way of being in the world that is quite literally more effective in producing results.

When you are giving, you already obtain the thing that you’re seeking.

Because if you’re giving, you have more than enough. You are overflowing with it, whatever that it is.

And when you have so much of something that you can give it away, is it any wonder that it feels easy for you to have more? When you don’t feel you will run out? When you are confident in yourself. When you are coming from the place that says, “I have all of this I require.”

So you get what you want, you just have to give it away first.

I know that is a paradox but it makes sense if you just realize you already have what you’re looking for, you just didn’t interpret things that way.

We all can…

- Be creative
- Love
- Discover something new
- Learn- Lead others

And what I realize now that all of this is free.

People say everything has a cost, but that is only true if you lose something in the process of giving it away.

And in a way, that means true wealth has no cost.

There is no price to pay.

But if you’ve been taught a story that you currently believe in that says otherwise, then that will be your reality.

If you choose to interpret a different story… well, then that will be your reality.

I don’t have any dog in this fight, for anyone, with any of you.

We’re each in our journey to learn. I can only share things that I believe might be helpful. We’re all in different places on that journey, and no one is better than anyone else. Because no lesson is more or less powerful than others. They are just lessons that we need to learn, at that time, for a particular reason.

So whatever we might do in this life turns out exactly as it should. And however, we might feel right now is exactly how we’re meant to feel.

You don’t have to be who you’re not, because that would take you away from learning the lesson that you are meant to learn right now.

Sincerity is mastery of the spiritual realm.

Speed doesn’t matter, lessons are patient and kind.

And sometimes slowness helps teach you faster.

Just when you think the opportunity has gone, you arrive.

And then things change.

‍xx David

Self InquiryPersonal Journey