Wednesday, October 1, 2014

5 Ways to Practise Optimism

5 Ways to Practise Optimism

In keeping with my theme of selecting a new focus for every month this year, in October, I have decided to continue on with my new found positive mindset… and focus on optimism.  I have been thinking a lot about this word and what it means to me. I finally looked it up in the Merriam–Webster online dictionary and found this:


noun \ˈäp-tə-ˌmi-zəm\
: a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will happen

Examples of OPTIMISM

  1. Both of them expressed optimism about the future of the town.
  2. The early sales reports are cause for optimism.
  3. There is growing optimism that the problem can be corrected.
  4. He maintains a sense of optimism, despite all that has happened.
I think I am not a natural optimist… I have to really work at it sometimes.  Not because I am hoping or expecting things to turn out badly, really, but rather that I like to be prepared for when they do.

And I know that I go a bit overboard with it sometimes.  When we are sailing, I am a fiend for weather reports, current and tidal charts, and such.   If the wind is supposed to rise to 30 knots at 4 p.m. by 3 o'clock I want to be reefing the mainsail so we don’t have to attempt it in a gale.   The Captain, on the other hand, although mostly practical, very safety conscious and level-headed, is always looking for things to go right and just expects that they will.

Another example comes easily to mind… he and I almost never choose to travel the same route when we are driving to any particular destination. When I am at the wheel I will go out of my way to avoid making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled and somewhat busy intersection. And I will drive automatically to the far end of a parking lot to make sure I find an empty spot… whereas he almost never has to wait more than a few seconds to make that same left hand turn, and he usually lucks into an empty parking spot right outside the mall door… see what I mean? He expects those things to just fall into place for him, and they normally do.

He is an optimist.  I like to think I am a work in progress. But I am making progress and there are a few things I am practising to make that happen more often.

Here are my 5 Ways to Practise Optimism:

Realize that the past does not equal the future
  • Just because I didn’t find that parking space in front of the store the last 10 times I looked for one, doesn’t mean there won’t be one there the next time. 
Put yourself out there, and be hopeful
  • Stop worrying about what might happen and take some  risks.  Understand that life involves uncertainties and not everything will go well, but some will.  Hmmm… another confession… I am a control freak so this is really hard for me.
Life is short
  • Worrying and indecision are a waste of time.  No one has enough time to dilly dally.  Do it. 
Strive for balance
  • I know am not going to do a 180 with this .  It is all right for me to still prepare for the worst but hope for the best.  It isn’t black or white. I am never going to throw caution completely to the wind and that is okay. 
Understand that engergy attracts like energy
  • I used to work with a woman that always expected something bad to happen… and she was never disappointed. It seemed like she wore it as a badge of honor. She was always right about things in her life going wrong and she was such a downer to be around.  Happy, energetic, positive people attract others of the same mindset.  I want to be with positive energetic people.  Who doesn’t?

Are you an optimist?  Do you prepare for the worst?


  1. I try to be an optimist! I hope others think so too!

  2. You sure are an optimist! I like to think that everyday is a new day to make something right or make a different choice.

  3. I LOVE what you say about energy attracting like energy. So true. The older I get the more I don't want to be around certain people because their attitudes just suck and I have no time for that. Great tips!

  4. I am not a natural optimist either, I work hard to look on the bright side of things. I feel that if I expect the worst then I wont be disappointed when it happens, but I am trying to be different.

  5. wow I really love that parking spot analogy. My BF has a habit of being pessimistic at times and he calls my optimism "head in the clouds" haha but I always tell him all of these things. ESPECIALLY that thinking you have bad luck or bad things will happen = bad things happening.

  6. I like to think I am. I try to find the positive in each experience and be grateful for the gifts I have.

  7. I have to work hard to be an optimist, but I'm usually pretty successful. I just try to be prepared for things not to go right so that those bad times don't bring me down.

  8. I love this list! I definitely chose optimism!

  9. I definitely struggle with seeing the glass as half full. Something to work more consciously toward.

  10. I definitely struggle with the optimist thing BUT so much better than I was.. just trying to leave the past in the past as you wrote, understand how short life is & can be & that I am on the 2nd half so I have to embrace! :)

  11. I love the idea of practicing optimism - and great tips to do so! Pinning. :)

  12. I have a strong belief in GOD so that helps me remain optimistic.

  13. I am an eternal optimist. I always try to find the positive is whatever I am doing

  14. I talk alot about optimism and being positive in general with my daughter...and helping her both to see the positive and silver lining in her days and looking ahead to positive outcomes.

  15. I love this! I'm an optimist. I always look for the bright side in situations and throw caution to the wind and take risks.


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