What’s Wrong with Rose-Colored Glasses?


His eyes stared down in pity.

I shuddered as heaviness enshrouded me and settled on my shoulders while I was diagnosed with all the serious of a doctor telling sorrowful news.

Taller, older, wiser, the 40-year-old’s saddened eyes said it all. I was a helpless case. I was one of them. The naive. The ones who must be protected.

“I can’t believe it,” he sighed. “You see life through rose-colored glasses.”

I laughed it off, but the honest sympathy I received from this older man shook me. Was something really wrong? 

I took a close look at my glasses.

Those Wearing ROSE-COLORED GLASSES . . . 

Think Win-Win. 
Life is a positive place where you can succeed as well as others. Instead of pushing and shoving to the front of the line, these pink-shade-wearers realize that “You can have everything in life you want, if you help enough other people get what they want” Zig Ziglar. By thinking win-win, you can benefit others while reaching your goals. (a.k.a. You can be successful and sleep well at night.)

See Obstacles as Opportunities to Grow. 
We learn through successes but we learn more through failures. Hearing our 15-passenger van scrape the BMW in Ray’s parking lot made my stomach churn. Paying $1,200 dollars to fix the bumper felt worse. But the cautiousness and awareness that replaced my heady-confidence were nearly worth the mistake. It’s not that the rosy ones don’t make mistakes. It’s just that they realize everyone makes them!!! It’s what we do after the mistake that matters.

Believe It is Too Good to be True. 
Anything could happen. Don’t believe me? C.S. Lewis was rejected 800 times before he sold one piece of writing. The annual sale of his books is close to 2 million today. Disney was fired because,”he lacked imagination and had no original ideas.” You’ve probably heard of Disneyland and Cinderella. The Beatles were told by a recording studio, “They have no future in show business.” After having his legs severely crippled in a fire, Glenn Cunningham was told by doctors he would never walk again. He took 4th in the 1932 Summer Olympics and silver for the 1936 Summer Olympics.

If you want it bad enough, it can happen.

 Set High Expectations (and obtain them). 
Recently, the NPR ran a study that showed the power of high expectations. When teachers were told the students in their class were gifted, the teachers invested more time and energy, expecting success from their students. In contrast, teachers that were told their students were “slower” expected less from their students and (surprise!) had poor results.

The power of our thinking has widespread results, and it’s proven that if we expect more, we get more.

Control their Thoughts.
Feed Cat. Irritating salesman. I look fat. 

Thousands of thoughts race in and out of brains every moment and controlling them is easier said than done. Negative thoughts and anticipated failure just clutter the brain and take our focus of what’s important. When we think “I’m about to be mugged”  every thought vanishes from the brain but, run, run, run! (disclaimer**At least that’s what my brain would think.)

Similarly, when I think, “I am going to fail this test” my brain jumps to thoughts of worry, anxiousness, and self-doubt . . . (notice they’re all self-centered thoughts). Someone who wears rosy lenses focuses on a Philippians Four and frees up their brain to think constructively.

Like it or not, every positive relationship requires trust. Those who see life through rose-colored glasses tend to have more positive relationships because they trust. They see the good in each person. They expect the best. . . even though they might get burned. (This is a lot easier when we trust God.) 

I’m not saying our glasses won’t get cracked.

People mess up. Appointments are missed. The car won’t start. Both of Grandpa’s snowmobiles get wrecked. Dog’s die. You fail. Updates don’t work. And Vinegar chips aren’t always in the pantry.

That’s LIFE! 

But just because we know problems will happen, doesn’t mean we should go around around distrustful, skeptical, and expecting the worst. It doesn’t make life any better to complain about failing people in a failing world.

People do it.

But we can make the choice to be happy and positive, expecting the best and discovering creative ways to fix the mistake or learn from the problem.

I’m not naive, burying my head in the sand and disbelieving taxes went up and hopes are never dashed. I know those things happen. I accept the cracks in my lenses.

The difference is, I choose not to dwell on them.

What glasses are you wearing? 

The good news is, you can always get a new pair.


P.S. I wrote this in November 2014, but it’s still as true as ever. 

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4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Rose-Colored Glasses?

  1. Thank you for sharing that it reminded me that I tend to live life wearing rose colored glasses, and sometimes people mistake it as ignorant bliss, but I like to think that my faith in Christ gives me the ability to trust in his plan and therefore trust and love people! I don’t want to worry daily or live with a dooms day attitude! Love people into the kingdom 🙂

    1. So true, Kim! Your positivity and love for people is inspiring! We’re called to be filled with the joy of the Lord (regardless of the circumstances) and you definitely epitomize that quality! 🙂

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