Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is there more to being an optimist than seeing the glass half-full?


I happen to be a natural optimist. It comes very easy to me to see the positive in most situations. I look at obstacles and conflicts as things that will lead to growth. And I have to tell you, that trait was extremely helpful in dealing with years of rejection letters (as well as lots of other things life throws at me). But let me be clear... sometimes the glass is not only half-empty, it is bone dry.

Anyone who thinks optimists are always happy doesn't understand optimism.

Here's the truth about optimism and that glass half-empty or half-full question: Despite how much water is in my glass, I know how and where to get more. I know how to turn on a faucet.

Sounds obvious, right? But think about what it really means. Instead of emphasizing the present view of things, it focuses on my ability to be resilient. It acknowledges that there will be times when everything will go wrong, and I'll feel terrible. But an optimist sees those times and those feelings as temporary. An optimist is able to time-travel, so to speak, and put faith in the future when this immediate crisis or obstacle will be a thing of the past. An optimist looks for ways to get to that future.

I could go on and on about optimism and resiliency, but I don't have to because there is a fantastic new blog all about this topic. It's called The Irrepressible Writer, and it's written by Carol Grannick, one of my critique partners. Carol gives fabulous step-by-step practical advice about how to bring optimism into your life. Optimism CAN be learned. And it can definitely improve the quality of your life. Check it out!

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