Someone once told me my optimism was naive. This came about because I questioned their pessimistic attitude towards something or other. They cited that in fact they we’re not a pessimist, but a realist. The person who said this to me was several years older than I; perhaps their longer life had given them more experience than I had, that I was yet to be affected by some of the harsh realities of adult life. I don’t view naivety as a bad quality but I did feel that it was unfair to suggest this about me when I had experience much more than most at that age.
This exchange of words has stayed with me, and five years after that conversation I’d say not much has changed about my attitude and certainly don’t feel I’m being naïve to think that some exciting could be lurking just around the corner.
Bad things happen to people all the time. It could be something trivial such as a delayed train and turning up to work late, but that can be enough to put some people in a bad mood for the whole day. When things happen around me that are out of my control the one thing I do have a grasp on is how I let that make me feel.
Not everything is rosy in my life all the time; my finances aren’t exactly hot right now and while it does cause me some worry I know I have enough to live off comfortably and I don’t need new material possessions. I’m instead so excited about the time I’m going to spend with my friends and family over the next few weeks.
Getting out of bed on a Monday morning isn’t exactly a favourite past time but I know I’m going to work at a job that I enjoy doing, because I work with great people and I’ve found something that I’m good at.
I think I largely lend this attitude to my Dad; he’s said to me since I was a child that positive thinking leads to success. I think the curiosity that comes with a positive outlook in life means we’re more likely to seek opportunities and perceiving things more positively will naturally give you more satisfaction in life.
I lost my mum suddenly some years ago; I was a sulky early twenty year old prior to that, often falling into a mood with my family, boyfriend and friends for no apparent reason at all other than my own self-pity. I genuinely think my attitude change the moment my mum died, I guess I could see the joy in simple things that happen every day in stark contrast to the pain and sadness found in grief. Although 'grumpy for no reason' days still occur from time to time, generally speaking I awake knowing that negativity brings nothing to my life and I need to relish the day.
Optimism gives so much excitement about what’s still to come so don't fear the unknown.