An optimist finds the good in any situation…even when it appears there is no good to be found.
Throughout my life, I have always maintained an optimistic approach. Even in my most melancholy, darkest moments, I have always managed to meander my way through those occasions by abiding by one simple truth –
— life is not always easy, but it is precious.
I say this not to pat myself on the back. (Well, maybe a little haha). But, honestly, being an optimist is not always easy. Oftentimes, when you are in a constant state of optimism, vandals will sneak into your life shrouded under the cloak of your rose-colored vision.
But…in the long run. I think having optimism – in a seemingly pessimistic world – is a healthy way of walking through life.
Many people will see only the negative in the world. An optimist will not turn a blind eye to the negative, but rather, they will look past it – with a view towards the next happy moment.
You don’t have to be a clueless, gullible buffoon to be an optimist. There is nothing wrong with seeking out the good in life, even when the good is hard to find.
Here are some common traits of optimists…
It’s not just a word, but a concept. A way of life.
For many people, hope eludes them. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Dig deep down inside yourself and retrieve that childhood innocence you once possessed.
Sift through all the bulls**t that has left you with scar upon scar. Look in the mirror. And smile.
Make a conscious decision to not allow people and things to destroy your faith in the beauty that surrounds you. I constantly regroup, and think to myself “It will be better. I know it. Keep pushing forward.”
Hope is not easy. But, it is a necessity. Without hope. We are left with nothing but a shell of a soul. Embrace the life that is before you. Better days will come. They will.
This may appear strange. Realism and optimism. Aren’t they on two ends of the spectrum? Not really. Here’s why.
To have an optimistic approach to a situation is to also have a realistic approach. Basically, it works like this. You really want to achieve something in life. So, you put all your effort into that endeavor. Years go by. And nothing in that realm has been accomplished. You give up.
Now…if you want to approach this situation with optimism. Try this.
Set your expectations with clear, attainable goals. Realistic goals. You know who you are. Push yourself.
But, don’t set goals that are not attainable. (Like, declaring you will learn to fly using your arms in the next two weeks.)
If you set your dreams to an attainable goal (even if it is lofty, and grand), you can maintain a realistic optimism that you will achieve your dream. Even if it takes 20 years to get there…you will get there.
Feel it. Work towards it. And it will happen (and maybe it will be disguised as something else.) Have an open mind and heart.
This one goes without saying. You gotta have love in your heart. For yourself. And for others.
This doesn’t mean you have to hug everyone, and walk around with a weird perma-smile. It just simply means…you have to be open to others. The more closed off you are from others, the more your love is buried beneath that hardened exterior.
Optimism and love are two peas in a pod. A healthy love for life, and all of its experiences, will open your heart up for a positive outlook.
Love yourself first. Open your mind to others’ points of view. Understand the world does not revolve around you and your so-called beliefs. Embrace the good in the world.
Optimism will surely follow.
A friend of mine, Mitch Teemley, is an exceptionally talented storyteller and all-around nice guy. He hosts a blog – The Power of Story. A few months ago, he challenged me – in a nice way 🙂 – to write about what book or books changed my life, and why.
Well…Mitch…here you go: (these are all books that I read as a kid or teenager)
Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse) – amazing story. It forever changed the why I saw life. In a good way.
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) – spoke to me like no other book had.
Lord of the Flies (William Golding) – shook my young mind to the core. Opened my eyes to the potential dark side of human nature.