If your goal is to learn how to have a more positive outlook on life, I must tell you that there are in fact a few things optimists do differently. They are things you could do too, since optimism is not an inborn trait but a skill you can develop with a bit of hard work and with a lot of patience. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology said in his book “Learned Optimism” that “One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.” He is absolutely correct, because you can actually choose to think in a more positive way and to see the good in every situation. I also love this famous quote by Winston Churchill who said that “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Basically, it’s all up to you; you choose if you want to be happier and enjoy the things you have or if you let yourself be overwhelmed by your negativity. So, here are a few things optimists do differently that you should always consider if you want to live a healthier and happier life:
1. They Are Grateful for What They Have
One of the most important things optimists do differently is the fact that they are always grateful for what they have and they really appreciate all the wonderful things in their lives. Now, don’t get me wrong. They do have to face a lot of challenges and they also have their ups and down. They just don’t get discouraged so quickly and they always find the strength to overcome all difficulties by focusing on the beautiful things in their lives instead of obsessing over their hardships and instead of constantly worrying about their responsibilities. I’m sure you all know that famous saying: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.
2. They Make the Most of Every Opportunity
When they see an opportunity, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, optimists take it and make the most of it. They always try, even if they fail sometimes. They don’t let any opportunity just pass them by because they are too afraid to take chances. They are aware of the risks a certain action may involve, but if they think that by doing it, they might be able to reach their goals, they give their best and take advantage of every chance they have. They are not idealist; they are “simply positive, visionary realists”.
3. They Believe in Themselves
Optimists do know what they are capable of and they do believe in themselves. You can learn how to do this too, with a bit of work to build your self-confidence and strengthen your self-esteem. They love and accept themselves just the way they are and they always strive to get better without stressing themselves out. Optimistic people always trust their abilities and don’t need other people’s approval to be happy. They assume responsibility for everything they do and they are not afraid of taking chances.
4. They Avoid Negative People
Optimists know that negativity is contagious so they try, as much as possible, to avoid the grouchy people around them and they surround themselves with people who inspire them and who can help them become better at what they do. They don’t spend time with people who don’t value and appreciate them because they choose to nourish the relationships they have with the supportive and optimist people in their lives. You should do that too, if your goal is to live a healthier and happier life by learning how to be more optimistic.
5. They do Know That Life is a Series of Ups and Downs
Even if they are optimists and they see the positive in everything, that doesn’t mean that they don’t realize that life is in fact a series of ups and downs. They do prepare themselves for the worst, since they know everyone has bad days too and they always keep things into perspective. Optimists don’t blame others for their mistakes or for the things that don’t work out as planned. They take responsibility for their actions and they do know that sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much work you put in, things don't go the way you should or want and that you shouldn’t let this discourage you from trying to make things better again.
6. They Use Positive Self-Talk
Optimists people always use positive self-talk to reinforce their actions and to help them maintain a good attitude. They always encourage and support themselves even if no one else does it. They believe in themselves, in what they are capable of and they are not afraid of taking chances. They enjoy their successes and they pat their own backs for being able to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams.
7. They Don’t Turn Bad Experiences into Self-fulfilling Prophecies
Even if sometimes things don’t go as planned and they fail, optimists don’t turn their bad experiences into self-fulfilling prophecies. Just because you’ve failed at doing something today that doesn’t mean that you will do it tomorrow too. Good things come to those who wait and work hard enough to accomplish all their dreams, no matter how many challenges they have to face in their path. Optimists don’t let their past influence their future decisions and they are aware of the fact that bad experiences will only make you stronger and wiser.
Everyone can learn how to be an optimist; it’s actually not that hard to do it. You just have to be persistent and keep your goals in mind and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the wonderful benefits of having a more positive outlook on life and on things in general. Are you an optimistic person? What other things optimists do differently? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!