Have you ever encountered someone who is always so darn optimistic it makes you squirm, or it makes you feel like you are the most pessimistic person in the world? How are some people always optimistic and others can’t seem to see the bright side…like, ever? Optimism might not come naturally to you, but it can be learned. Once you have learned to become positive, you will never want to leave. Let’s uncover the bright side of being an optimist.
A change in perspective
You’ve heard the saying that the glass is either half-full or half-empty, and this depends on your point of view of the matter. But, if you removed that choice and changed your perspective entirely by looking at the glass from the bottom up or from a bird’s eye-view, then the glass will always seem completely full.
What it means to be an optimist
Being an optimist is about more than just seeing the glass as half-full. Optimists lead a happier life overall, and they tend to be healthier, wealthier, and more successful than their counterparts – the pessimists.
Generally speaking, optimists are people who tend to see the positive in a given situation. They tend to be hopeful, confident and only see the best in matters concerning the present, future or the success of something. Optimists tend to believe that everything will turn out well, even when faced with difficulties, setbacks and challenges.
I have a friend like that. She is always smiling, always happy and always sees the good in things. She doesn’t accept negativity into her life. When she faces an obstacle or a difficulty, she sees it as a chance to grow, to become better, to become healthier. As a result, she is one of the few people I know who can laugh on a bad day as she doesn’t let anything get her down. I have often wondered how she (and other people like her) are such happy and positive people. I asked her one day, and her reply made me fumble with awe…
You see, when she was younger she was in a car with her siblings, cousins and her gran (who was driving the vehicle). They somehow got into an accident. The car flipped, rolled and slid off a cliff. Officials and experts believed that they were all meant to die in that accident, because the wreckage was unbelievable. Yet, somehow, miraculously, they all survived. Only one, my friend’s sister, had some major injuries but recovered fully. This is why she is happy. This is why she is positive. Every day, every second is a gift to her, and there is no point in seeing bad or negativity in even a second. This is when I realized, I don’t want to wait for something like that to happen to me first to have a reason to be positive. I would rather not waste the precious time that I have right now, at this very moment, on a pessimistic outlook.
Naturally optimistic vs naturally pessimistic
When you talk to a pessimist, they would most likely tell you that they aren’t being negative, that they are just being “realistic”. I’ve been there, and I have had exactly the same reasoning. But when you think about it, what really is “realistic”? What is realism? Truth is, whatever you think and believe becomes your reality. So when a pessimist thinks of the bad side of a situation, person, place or thing, that becomes their reality. Their reality will give them reasons to show them that it’s a negative outcome. On the other hand, optimists create their reality by generating positive thoughts which lead to positive outcomes.
David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism, says: “Optimism isn’t a pie-in-the-sky ideal. It’s not closing your eyes and being in the clouds. People often tell me they’re a realist, but reality alone may prevent you from getting past first base. Combine optimism with acceptance of the life you’ve been dealt, and the sky’s the limit.”
I bet you would be surprised how many “naturally” optimistic people are really pessimistic by nature, and that they have to learn to be optimistic. Next time you encounter an optimistic person, ask them if they are just naturally that way or if it was a learned habit.
There are more and more self-help books, motivational courses, videos etc. to help you become a more positive person available out there. It is becoming increasingly more popular. People want health, wealth and abundance, but it all starts with your mindset.
You might think that I am naturally optimistic, however this is far from true. I need to remind myself every day to be more positive and optimistic. It’s a daily challenge for me. My husband is the optimist in our relationship. Ever since I met him, until this very day, he is the one who always tends to remind me that our seemingly difficult situations and so forth will work out well.
Learning to become more optimistic
Being faced with my naturally pessimistic view, and my optimistic husband that is constantly by my side, I have realized that I needed to learn to be more optimistic. My husband is the happier and healthier of the two of us. I would constantly fall ill, become depressive and withdraw myself from others and even from activities I love doing. Having a pessimistic outlook on life really drains a person, and I got to a point where enough was enough. Like I said before, every day I need to teach myself to have a more positive spring on life and life’s challenges.
One way I have learned to do this, was by reading, and practicing the techniques and exercises I discovered in the book called “Learn to be an Optimist” by Lucy Macdonald. Lucy is herself also closer to a pessimist in nature, so it was very easy for me to relate to her thought processes and her story.
The practical exercises and illustrations throughout the book was, and is, really helpful in learning to be an optimist. She covers many aspects in the book, from problem solving to building confidence, all which help to having a better relationship with yourself and the world around you. The book has helped me develop a good attitude in life, confidence, resilience and peace of mind. This positive change has also caught the attention of my family and friends, and they too can see I am a happier person overall.
If you are generally skeptical, pessimistic, or consider yourself a negative person, I suggest you have a read for yourself. It is possible to change your mindset, and it is possible to turn your life into a brighter one.
Nothing to lose, everything to gain
The great thing about learning to be more optimistic is that it leads to a positive change in every aspect of your life, from relationships and parenting, to school and the workplace. Becoming an optimist, leaves you with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
An optimistic approach to life leads to better mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The bright side of being an optimist is, that the other side is even brighter than the “already bright side”.