Learn how to be optimistic.

Learn how to be optimistic.

Learn how to be optimistic. Basically, you aren’t required to be born a positive person – optimism can be learned. Don’t give up just because you’re not good at it! Because there’s a way to…

Learn how to be optimistic.

But how, you ask?

If I’m being candid with you, (and my husband, Rob, can attest to this,) compared to some others, I am not naturally a positive person.

*gasp*

Did I really say that?

Yes, I did. I’m a learned optimist.

It’s deliberate.

It’s a choice.

I believe anyone can learn how to be optimistic, and with deliberation, choose to act that way.

If so, then all of us can take action in a strategically positive way.

In all areas of our lives:

  • in how we think about ourselves,
  • as we talk to ourselves (our inner dialogue),
  • how we make choices in our life,
  • when we interact with people,
  • in our business world, church world, and family,
  • as we pursue our side-hustle, our hobbies,
  • and/or entrepreneurial life,
  • while setting and embracing our goals – large or small
  • and everything else life holds!

Here’s the path – with 4 aspects – on how to learn to be optimistic:

1 – Begin with love.

Start by feeling love for yourself. (Yes, it’s a journey.)

Firstly, I believe I was born on purpose and for a purpose. As were you! No person is an accident. Everyone has value.

For all those mothers who long to get pregnant, and parents who are trying and trying to conceive a child, this concept of a child being born on purpose is real. (As is the heart-wrench and ache when a child dies before you can hold her or him in your arms.)

Plus, as a Christian, I believe God loves me. He loves you. There’s a plan for us. As a great example of true, perfect love, Jesus, the Son of God, gave up His life in a horrible death for no reason other than He loved me. And you. And everyone. All people. Regardless. (If you’re looking for a romance story, the Bible is the ultimate one.)

Maybe your life thus far hasn’t shown you much love. If that’s the case, I just want to tell you:

It’s not the end of the story!

You can feel loved. There’s time.

Just as you have time to love others. It’s a journey.

And you CAN!

What comes next…

2 – Be thankful. Optimism grows from gratitude.

Gratitude is so much more important than the world around you wants you to believe. Being thankful is a special sauce, a magic formula, the ultimate elixir on the way to being positive.

How do you track your thankfulness?

Being aware of what you’re thankful for is one thing. Because of this, it’s powerful when you see all the items concretely logged with writing or images.

Whether you use an app, a journal, a planner or a plain old notebook, keeping an ongoing list of all the items you’re thankful for on a daily basis is important!

Important!

Did you hear that?

I can’t think of another way to state it. Make it a habit at the beginning, middle or end of a day to list what you’re thankful for. Begin recording your thankfulness.

I challenge you to start with a list of 100 items. A while ago Rob and I did an exercise like this together and it was so much easier than it seems… From this, we realized that the greatest to the least little item provides many, many reasons each day to give thanks.

” Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

~ from an article at Harvard Health

Therefore, you can learn how to be optimistic if you use gratitude as a tool!

So, being loved and being thankful. Right.

And after that – what’s next?

3 – Being encouraged and encouraging others helps you to learn how to optimistic.

Thirdly, what is encouragement?

“Encouragement: words or actions that give someone confidence or hope and words or actions that help something to happen.”

~ from MacMillan Dictionary

To learn how to be optimistic means you understand the importance of encouragement. Encouragement is an action. It’s having hope for the future. People who are positive-focused know how to help themselves and others make something happen – something good for the future.

Optimists are confident that if they keep trying and continue to persevere, regardless, there will be an improvement.

And once an optimist is feeling hopeful, then…

4 – Optimists take action.

Lastly, some of the skills on the path to learn how to be optimistic are the ability to make a plan, work the plan and take action on the goals that’ll get you to the finish line of the plan. Does this sound familiar?

What if things don’t work out? Failure is part of the plan – it’s gonna happen, and optimists who take action have contingencies at hand to fail forward.

So, if something doesn’t work out, the optimist finds another way.

Above all, it’s about taking action – not getting stuck in inertia or analysis paralysis. Equally, if a positive person does get stuck, they look for help from another encouraging person! Do you have someone like that in your life?

Are you someone who takes action? Is there a chance you’re also a learned optimist?

Being Positive on Purpose

All in all, life isn’t always what you expect. There are curveballs…

It’s important to realize there are days, weeks and even years where being optimistic is hard. At times it feels almost impossible. I get it. I really do – due to circumstances we all encounter, I’ve experienced it and it’s difficult to be optimistic when in crisis. (Especially if others around you expect optimism from you and you’re feeling like you’re running on empty.)

What can you do when it’s hard to be optimistic?

Actively seek support. To clarify, surround yourself with people, activities, and resources which will support you in practicing:

  • loving yourself and others,
  • being thankful – in all circumstances,
  • accepting encouragement and giving encouragement,
  • and taking action.

To be transparent – that’s why this site was born. I needed something to keep my focus on remaining and then growing in being positive. So, that’s what PostiveThanksLiving.com is for… it’s for me and you!

On the positive side, there’s no end in learning to be optimistic.

You just get better at it. Certainly, it takes ongoing practice, but the benefits of practicing optimism impact everyone around you for the better.

Indeed, it’s not going to hurt anyone if you learn how to be optimistic… in fact, it’ll help make the world around you a little better!

Just because you're not born an optimist doesn't mean you can't learn how to be optimistic. Explore the 4 points along the way - anyone can learn!

Who Gives with Joy

Who Gives with Joy

Yes – who gives with joy… something to ponder…

Just a thought:

why is it

easier

to be thankful

when something is given

by certain people?


Joy is prayer.

Joy is strength.

Joy is love.

Joy is a net of love
by which you can catch souls. 

She gives most who gives with Joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Who Gives with JOY…

Are you a joyful giver?

Or is your giving born of duty,

obligation,

competition,

or habit?

Perhaps…

if giving is birthed in JOY,

then truly,

the receiver can accept

with an expanse of gratitude.

Give your prayer joyfully.

Give your strength joyfully.

Give your love from a joyful heart.

Positivity is Contagious

Positivity is Contagious

If positivity is contagious, are you waiting to “catch” it from someone else… or are you a carrier?


I read a little blurb about a cashier who was consistently optimistic in her attitude.

For some people, when they met and interacted with her, it improved their day. For other customers and co-workers, her attitude was almost annoying. In fact, sometimes she was so positive that it grated on those around her like fingernails on a chalkboard…

Some wondered how she could sustain this behavior. Surely her life wasn’t that much better than others?

Her secret was eventually revealed as simply being a choice. She made a daily choice to have a “good” day, and that decision translated into this ongoing optimism.


Not everything is going to be good in your day. However, your own attitude is under your control.

Will you choose to pass onto others something good?

Consider who can benefit from your healthy attitude… Is it worth the energy to impact everyone around you in a positive way? And if so…

Is your positivity contagious?

Will you decide that today is going to be good day – regardless?


Life as a symphony.

Life as a symphony.

Your life: is it a symphony or a solo?

As beautiful as a solo can be, a symphony has greater depth.

(In case you’re wondering, a symphony is a musical composition for a group of instruments with at least four distinct sections.)

Who is playing in your symphony?

Whistling alone might not be the best choice. Make your life interesting – embrace the opportunity to play with others. However, it’s also good to be playing your life’s symphony with a group that supports you…

So – who is in your symphony orchestra of life?

Is it time to audition a few new players?

A few places of encouragement:

To support this idea of not just whistling in an empty room, I’m participating in a writing challenge for the month of April and I thought I’d share some posts from fellow writers!


  • Bonnie always makes me chuckle! (I’ve been reading her posts since 2011) Everything from relationships, her grands, to trash on the beach – it’s all fodder for her way of looking at life. If you want to view Life on the Lighter Side, check out Bonnie’s post!
  • Kerry is a mom from my home country of Canada. She writes about being creative – this post has a beautiful perspective. “Choosing a hobby for which you have talent is an important part of self-care.she says. What’s your creative hobby? How do you use your creativity to glorify God?
  • in this post, Stephie is talking my language of optimism! She has great points on why expanding your horizons will help you be optimistic and why you need to be aware of your surroundings.
  • I “met” Debi and Tom from The Romantic Vineyard when we both participated in a 30-day challenge in 2011. She continues to write about marriage, and her posts are insightful and fun – Rob and I have adopted/adapted some of her dating ideas. Debi asks, Are you up for the challenge”? – I encourage you to explore the website and share it with your “couple-friends”!

These are only a few of the articles I’ve been reading in this symphony of online voices…


Go deeper and Enjoy!

Need some encouragement in connecting with others? Try this post – or this one.

Listen – and you’ll meet amazing people.

Listen – and you’ll meet amazing people.

Listen. Pay attention as people speak about their life. That’s the secret if you want to meet interesting people.

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t…

Bill Nye the Science Guy

During this week could you

enter every conversation

with the belief you have something to learn?

Listen intently.

Do you hear what people say? Or are you more interested in talking – in hearing yourself talk?

Focus on listening and you will meet amazing people.

And don’t assume you can’t learn something new about people you’ve known for years and years – humans are complex! People change over the years, and if you’re not listening to their story you’ll miss out.

I challenge you:

  • be present (stop thinking about other stuff)
  • hush! (regardless of how much you have to contribute)
  • be still and attentive (please put the phone, keys, papers, etc. down)

How have you trained yourself to listen?

Listen to people - enter every conversation believing you have something to learn. Then be prepared to be amazed.

Is there more to the story?

One of the points in the book “The Kindness Quotient” is:

Kind people don’t pre-judge.

Ronda Sciortino

Ask yourself, “Is there more to the story?” if you feel yourself heading toward dismissing or judging someone. This question will set you up to listen and learn!

PS – Include listening to your spouse in this challenge. This human you’ve loved for years (and years) can be the most amazing person in your life…

The Kindness Quotient - Listen to people and you'll be amazed at their story - it'll be easier to be kind.

If you want to read more about kindness try this article or this one. ~~~

And click HERE to learn more about the book, “The Kindness Quotient“. This is an affiliate link, which means you’ll be supporting me (at no cost you) if you choose to purchase the book. I only promote items I believe will add positively to your life.


… for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning
  

Proverbs 1:2-4 NIV

Best Friend – is that YOU?

Best Friend – is that YOU?

Best friends. We read and hear about that concept quite a bit. It seems like an elusive, never-to-capture ideal. There are movies, books and social media posts touting the idea… but what does “best friend” really mean?

Best friend means something different for everyone.

I’d imagine your “best friend” job description would look different from mine. In fact, there’s every chance we’d all have a unique set of criteria on our list… And that list has changed and will change as long as we’re alive.

Is there any chance one living person could meet all our human “best friend” needs – always?

Join me over at Angie’s Forum!

I did a guest post over at my friend Angie’s site – click to head over there where I explored 10 ways to be your own best friend!

Will you agree with me? Or am I way off base?

Add your ideas to the 10 ways to be your own best friend over there! (click the photo to go there!)