I consider myself an optimist, and generally have a positive outlook on the future. I would prefer to think that it’s not a Pollyanna type of optimism, rather it’s a confidence that things will go well, and I have control (or at least some influence) on my future.
Optimism leads to unexpected benefits, and generally improves so many aspects of life. Many of the benefits may not be associated with optimism, including the quality of our relationships, the trust we have with other people, and our health and wellbeing. But, optimism played a key role in each of these areas.
I believe that optimism and joy are related. By finding joy and sharing joy in our lives, we can build optimism. Joy is different than happiness. Although the dictionary definition disagrees with me on that. Joy is an infusion or burst of positive vibes or happiness that is unexpected but appreciated. Joy feeds your optimism.
What brings me optimism?
My sense of optimism has developed over time. Ten years ago, prior to cancer diagnoses, chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant I wasn’t as optimistic. I had some incredibly life altering experiences that changed who I am, and created a larger sense of optimism in me, partly because I realized how precious life is, and that I need to enjoy it while I can.
If you’re struggling with optimism, start seeking little things that bring you joy. Change the soundtrack in your head if you catch yourself thinking negatively. Soon, you’ll find that the moments of joy are building your optimistic outlook.