As I have mentioned before, I often take good ideas and improve upon them for better, practical application. This is very true with the idea of Learned Optimism.
At first this simple way of thinking about life’s situations made a lot of difference in how I saw my own situation. More and more often I have found myself talking myself out of a negative belief with negative consequences. At the very least, I was able to come to clear, reasonable conclusions about situations, which then allowed me opportunities to make better choices.
After practicing Learned Optimism for a while, it dawned on me that during the Dispute step, I found myself praying for God’s guidance. I would pray, “Father, what is really going on here? Is there anything you want me to know? Or to do?”
This was my practical, personal application moment. In the A-B-C-D-E model, Adversity-Belief-Consequences-Disputation-Energy, I began to see that the disputing step was more about seeking divine guidance, or better yet, to understand the Devine Desire for that moment in time.
So. A-B-C-D-E became Adversity-Belief-Consequences-Divine Desire-Energy. Adversity, then, would almost always lead to prayer, especially when there were negative consequences. In fact, over time, practicing this has led me to a place where I seek to pray first when there is adversity. There are times when I don’t even get to my beliefs or the consequences. I simply turn to God.
And that is really the whole message of optimism. Letting God, our Father, guide us, and to give Him all our burdens.