I often find myself baffled at this concept, and I think about it often. It seems so easy, yet it can be so hard. It’s so easy to see it in others yet more difficult to realize in ourselves. It’s the half empty or half full concept. In my mind, I’ve broken it down into three categories, the pessimist, the realist, and the optimist.
Which would you rather be and what type of person would you rather spend your time with?
The pessimist is usually negative and pointing out all the bad about everything. The realist sees it “how it is” and can be positive at times, but is not afraid to say it “how it is” and can sometimes be caught in the trap of negativity. The optimist finds the good in almost every situation. They recognize there is bad, but they don’t take the time to make mention of it or waste their time and energy on it.
Well, I’m a realist by nature and I married Mr. Optimist. A half full kind of a guy.
It used to drive me nuts that I couldn’t “vent” to my husband without him some how pulling the positive out of the situation, whether it was about me and my intentions, or someone else’s. I wanted him to validate me. I wanted him to wallow in my self pity with me. But he wouldn’t. It wasn’t that he couldn’t see what I was saying, it’s that he didn’t want me to waste my energy worrying about something or someone I couldn’t change. He wanted me to choose to see the good things of the situation or person and move past the bad.
Now I have to make something clear. I love real. I love it when people are not afraid to show their whole selves – their weaknesses, messy house, dirty car, unfolded laundry, or the struggle. I admire people like this. They are comfortable in the skin they are in. I don’t think putting on the “perfect” act is the same as being an optimist. When I say optimist, I’m talking about the very real and genuine people that have a gift to see the good.
Winston Churchill said, “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use to be anything else.”
Here are 5 good reasons to be an optimist (that I’ve learned from being married to one)…
1. Optimists are Happy – Optimists are grateful. They notice their blessings, they recognize their blessings, and they see the good even during the bad times of their lives. There are a hundred and one studies that show evidence that when you are grateful, you are more happy. Optimists are able to see the good, look past the bad, and look past offenses from others. They are content and happy with themselves and others. They are happy to their core!
2. Optimists are Influential People – Think about all the people who have influenced you (for good of course:-)) in your life. There are many people that influence us each and every day, but I’d venture to say that many of those people are the optimists. The deep imprints they leave in our hearts and minds are invaluable and can never be erased. They have a good grip on life that seems to be contagious!
3. Optimists are Selfless – This is another reason optimists are the happiest people on earth. They don’t think about themselves. I’ve never met an optimist that is self consumed. They want to make others’ lives happy. They don’t sit and talk about themselves, their accomplishments, their lives, or about others in a degrading way. They don’t feel the need. They are content with life and themselves. They love to serve. They love to lift. They love to love.
4. Optimists Have the Best Relationships – EVERYONE has qualities that you can adore, and characteristics that can make you crazy if you let them. Perspectives, interests, hobbies, beliefs, pet peeves…they all vary from person to person. Optimists can get along with anyone – spouses, family, friends, colleagues, or associates alike! Optimists see the good qualities and let go of the undesirable characteristics. They love others for who they are, they don’t dislike them for who they’re not.
5. Optimists Make Great Employees – this follows the others and speaks for itself, but if you are happy, content, likable, positive, a team player, selfless, and easy to get along with, most likely you will be a great employee that nobody wants to let go of.
I’ve never heard anyone say, “I just LOVE being around pessimistic people. They are so fun! I just hate it when I have to go home, because I feel so good when I am with them.” It just doesn’t happen! People want to be around people that lift them, that make them feel hopeful, that help them want to be a better person.
During this season where we focus more on being grateful, and reflect on all of our many many blessings, let’s not forget to make it a habit all year long! Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate our blessings, and the more we learn to recognize them in hard times as well as the good, and in our daily lives, the happier we will be. It’s not a myth. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Grateful people are happier people.
I know this because I’ve experienced it myself.
I wouldn’t consider myself an optimist YET, I still have a little too much “realist” in me:-), but I hope by the end of my life, I will have become one and that’s what people will remember me as.
My Mr. Optimist has sure taught me a whole lot without even realizing it.
Here’s to less half empty cups and a lot more half full ones!
Happy Thanksgiving and an even more Happy Quest to Optimism!:-)
This article appeared first on Real Imprints.