What Groundhog Day Can Teach Us About Optimism

Happy Groundhog Day!

I know some of my posts lately have been pretty lengthy, and some a little serious/depressing. So today I wanted to write about something silly! And I think we can all agree that Groundhog Day is the silliest holiday in our calendar.

Today Punxutawny Phil saw his shadow, therefore predicting six more weeks of winter. Had he not seen his shadow, he would have predicted six more weeks until spring.

Photo from CBS News

But wait – isn’t that the same exact thing? Six more weeks of winter vs. six more weeks until spring?

Yep, it sure is! Every year on February 2nd, good old Phil comes out of his burrow and reminds us that there is indeed (roughly) six weeks until the official first day of spring (March 20). But the way in which he does it can teach us a little bit about optimism.

Think about it: if Phil says there will be six more weeks of winter, we immediately picture the negative possibilities: feet of snow, messy roads, cold gusts of wind…But if he says that it’s only six more weeks until spring, we picture the impending sunshine and those first flowers poking through the Earth.

He’s saying the same virtually the same thing either way, but the way we picture is vastly different.

If we have a glass-half-full perspective, we find reason to stay positive: spring is coming! But if we look at the glass as half empty, we wallow in the misery that is winter.

Photo from uncommonchick.com

So no matter what Punxutawny Phil predicted this morning, I’m choosing to stay optimistic and look forward to Spring!


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