by Annette Bridges. ©2010. All rights reserved.

Who doesn’t long for a good day, a good time and a good life? Have you ever considered that a good outcome may be more obtainable than you think?

My life has been filled with unexpected “good” outcomes. However, lately I’m finding it difficult to venture forth toward some daring goals, fearing the uncertain success of these goals. A recent photograph has given me reason to reexamine my approach.

A Facebook friend posted a photograph inviting everyone to give it a look. At first glance, it was a forest setting with a close-up of a bush. I assumed I was supposed to be seeing something not so obvious. And sure enough, the more I studied it, there appeared to be a snake hiding under the bush.

My friend suggested we click on the photograph to enlarge it for a more thorough examination.

To my surprise and delight, the enlarged photograph made it easy to see an adorable rabbit peering out from under the bush — not a snake.

It turns out that my friend had been encouraged to take the photograph of this rabbit by a group of children who were playing several feet away. These children had no trouble seeing this adorable rabbit even at the distance they were from him. My friend looked in the direction he was directed and couldn’t see anything until he put his camera in full zoom and scanned the setting for several minutes.

The interesting thing for me was that after knowing this photograph was of an adorable little rabbit, every time I saw the smaller image, I had no trouble whatsoever seeing the rabbit. I don’t know how I ever thought I saw a snake!

I’m reminded of a psychology class I took in college. The book had a photograph with the question under it — What do you see? About half the students in my class answered they saw an old lady, and the other half were certain the photograph was of a young woman. I was in the first group.

After it was pointed out that the photograph was of a young woman, I could see her — no longer seeing the old lady.

Somehow, I think these photographs hint at how our perceptions — and perhaps our assumptions and expectations as well — impact what we see and experience. I can’t help but think that perhaps our attitudes and perceptions can also impact and change an outcome and change it for the better.

Perhaps, too, there is a lesson to be learned from the children who saw the rabbit. While my friend could at first see nothing and I at first saw a snake, all of the children had no difficulty seeing the rabbit.

Even though my childhood had more than its fair share of sadness and difficult times, I have no memory of being afraid that my days were going to be bad ones. On the contrary, my memory of childhood days was that they were carefree, worry-free and hope-filled. And I believed with absolute certainty that anything was possible!

Yes, I think children generally look at their lives through rose-colored glasses — or as the French would say, “La Vie en rose” — literally translated as “Life in pink.”

So maybe the notion of self-fulfilling prophecy is true when it comes to reaching for goals. Perhaps whether our goals are accomplished or not has everything to do with what type of glasses we are wearing while we endeavor to reach them — rose-colored ones being the most ideal.

Wearing rose-colored glasses while going for our dreams enables us to envision the up-side and bright-side of our journey. And I would venture to say that a brighter and lighter view would make for a more pleasant ride, too. But I also think that maintaining a more positive outlook would help us keep expectations lofty, attitudes sunny, assumptions favorable and perceptions promising.

How could we not therefore accomplish that which we hope for?

I think if my friend and I had been wearing rose-colored glasses when we first looked at the rabbit, we would have seen him and most definitely would not have mistaken him for a snake!

I think I’ll get some of those rose-colored glasses and look for the good and what’s possible every day — including what’s possible with my daring goals! At the very least, I’ll see and experience “pinks” instead of the “blues.”