It is simple to think optimistically when things are going well, but a true test of whether or not you are an optimist is when things don’t go as planned. This is precisely why it is essential to put yourself on the offensive, be resolute in your decision to be an optimist because as the quote above reminds us, our thoughts truly have an amazing force behind them.
Last week when this series began, five benefits of being an optimist were shared that focused on the energy that it required, but also the good health and productivity that resulted due to the dedicated focus. This week I would like to share with you five ways your personal life will benefit from the decision to simply see the glass as half full. Let’s get started.
An optimist is someone who understands and accepts reality, but refuses to give in, refuses to be stopped by barriers, and instead see opportunities for growth. And in being able to have this vision, they are able to talk themselves, and thus, walk themselves through problems that arise. Being able to analyze a situation for what it can provide them with on the other side is healthy self-therapy. After all, instead of getting in our own way, allowing ourselves to be stuck in the mud of cynicism and pessimism, we are our own therapist and that healthy outlook affects every aspect of our lives.
Speaking of every aspect, humans are social creatures who thrive on social contact (some more than others) and keeping this in mind, people want to be around others who bring opportunity and joy into their lives. By being determined to be an optimist, not the extreme of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, we gain respect, we attract people who choose to be around others who want to continually try to create a more fulfilling life, and this is truly only possible when we see opportunity and gems along life’s windy journey. We must be the magnet of good in the world if we wish to see it in the world around us.
As stated above, by being an optimist, we are more likely to attract optimistic people. With that said, we have to be able to see clearly those who want to be a positive force in our lives or those who want squash our hopes. If we practice this constant perspective of optimism, we will be able to weed out those who are, for lack of a better term, “downers”. Instead of allowing people into our closest relationships who take away energy, why not be with people who fill us up and inspire us to be our best selves and us them?
One thing that has always helped me is to keep a gratitude journal. Whether I write down one or ten things that happened during my day that made it a better than if those events hadn’t happened, I am focusing on the positive. I’m reminding myself of all the good in my life that I may take for granted. When we choose to live life consciously, we become more instantly aware of how good things really are. Did the car start this morning without problems? Be grateful. Was it a tough decision as to what should be made for dinner last night? Darn it, food was in the fridge. Be grateful. Those little things will make us all realize how rich we really are and permit us to see the extras as icing on the cake.
With dreams, as with any goal, we must stay focused (as discussed last week), but if we continue to believe that we will reach our dreams, that we can make them happen and then take steps to get there, our positive attitude is helping propel each step we make. As Helen Keller states,
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
I do believe that remaining optimistic takes regular work and daily reminders, but I also believe that we create a better life for ourselves and a better world for everyone by seeing possibility and continuing to have hope.