Sunday, August 31, 2008

Curious about Optimism: How Optimistic and Positive Are You? Is It Working for or Against You and Your Life?

Definition of Optimism : The opinion or doctrine that everything in nature is ordered for the best, or that the ordering of things in the universe is such as to produce the highest good. A disposition to take the most hopeful view; -- opposed to pessimism.

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.” - Nicholas M. Butler, American philosopher

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” - William James, American philosopher

Yes, I have always been an optimist. And, yes, it can get me into trouble, because feeling that everything will turn out for the best leads me to take risks. In addition, risks can lead to obstacles and failures. However, being tired of hearing people whining about the so-called recession and making all sorts of excuses for not following through on their dreams and desires, I chose optimism for this week’s blog.

The fun part of this choice is reading and studying the upbeat quotations, so let’s get started:
  • With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.” -Studs Terkel, American journalist
  • The optimism of a healthy mind is indefatigable.” - Margery Allingham, English writer
  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” - Helen Keller, American author
  • Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” - Colin Powell, American statesman
  • I do believe that most men live lives of quiet desperation. For despair, optimism is the only practical solution. Hope is practical. Because eliminate that and it's pretty scary. Hope at least gives you the option of living.” - Harry Nilsson, American musician
  • What we can borrow from Ronald Reagan... is that great sense of optimism. He led by building on the strengths of America, not running America down.” - Rudy Giuliani, American politician

Now for some that have a bit of a twist:

  • Comedy is acting out optimism.” - Robin Williams, American comedian
  • "Optimism is not inherently a superior way of viewing the world. Certainly doctors will say it might be better for one's physical health to be an optimist. But, morally speaking it may not be appropriate in certain circumstances.” - Todd Solondz, American writer
  • My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” - Henry Rollins, American musician
  • I don't think you lead by pessimism and cynicism. I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy.” - Patricia Ireland, American activist
  • One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” - Lucille Ball, American comedienne
  • These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.” - Virginia Woolf, British author

And then, a couple for the road:

Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.” - Twyla Tharp, American dancer

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian

How optimistic are you? Personally, I feel that it is a way to live life to the fullest and the happiest. Try it! You will like/love it!