Optimism Inspiration

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Journaling Prompts

Glass Half Empty or Glass Half Full: Are you more of an optimist or a pessimist by nature? Have you changed over time in one direction or another? Are there different parts of life in which you find it easier to be optimistic? Who is the most optimistic person you know? Does it come naturally to them, or do they work at it? Who is the most pessimistic person you know, and how does his or her attitude impact you?

Certainty: What are you most sure of? Does doubt creep in when you least expect it? Which parts of your life bring you doubt, and which inspire faith and belief in a good outcome? What do you believe on faith and what do you question?

Self Talk: What tools, techniques, words and images do you share with yourself to remind yourself how strong you can be when times are tough? Is the chatter in your mind more positive or negative? Whose voice do you hear in there? Is it a part of you, or a voice from your past reminding you of what's good or bad, right or wrong? Does the optimistic or pessimistic style of your family of origin influence you today?

Hope: Are you hopeful about the future? Have you lost hope about something and had to give in to the flow of fate or the universe? Is there such a thing in your life as 'hoping against hope' or 'toxic hope' where being hopeful can be damaging to your psyche?

Rose Colored Glasses: Have you ever been accused of seeing things through rose-colored glasses, or being a cockeyed optimist or Pollyanna? Where do you keep blinders on about the present or future in order to feel better? When faced with the truth about something that you previously saw in a kinder light, how did you react?

Idealist: Who is the most idealistic person you know, and how does he or she demonstrate their belief in people's essential goodness? Are you an idealist? Were you one in your youth, but became more cynical over time?


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I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don't think there is anything such as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism. I think when you say you're happy, you have everything that you need and everything that you want, and nothing more to wish for. I haven't reached that stage yet. Rosa Parks

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.Helen Keller

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power. William James

Optimism is the foundation of courage. Nicholas Murray Butler

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. Robert Brault

All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well. Julian of Norwich

It's hard to argue against cynics -- they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side. Molly Ivins

Determine the thing that can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way. Abraham Lincoln

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams. Jonas Salk

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. Mark Twain

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. William Arthur Ward

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else. Winston Churchill

Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. Arundhati Roy

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. Vaclav Havel

I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will. Antonio Gramsci

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before. Vita Sackville-West

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. Alexander Graham Bell

Positive anything is better than negative nothing. Elbert Hubbard

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. Harriet Beecher Stowe

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Zig Ziglar

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse

Don't take 'no' for an answer, never submit to failure. Do not be fobbed off with mere personal success or acceptance. You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or events. Winston Churchill

If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience. Swami Vivekananda

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. Oscar Wilde

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy. Henry Ward Beecher

Got no checkbooks, got no banks, Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. Irving Berlin

"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "So it is," said Christopher Robin. "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately." A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner.

Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.

Anna Lee

Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. Brian Tracy

In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. Lee Iacocca

You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination. Ralph Marston

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. Francesca Reigler

It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to. Annie Gottlier

One of the redeeming things about being an athlete is redefining what is humanly possible. Lance Armstrong

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress. Nicholas Murray Butler

Those who wish to sing, always find a song. Swedish Proverb

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbreit

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. Chinese Proverb

Nothing is interesting if you're not interested. Helen MacInness

When the sun rises, it rises for everyone. Cuban Proverb

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. Ralph Marston

The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people. Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. George Santayana

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. Author Unknown I think, what has this day brought me, and what have I given it? Henry Moore

People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong...Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom? Thich Nhat Hanh

To begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment. James Allen

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. Author Unknown

People are zealous for a cause when they are not quite positive that it is true. Bertrand Russell

That's my gift. I let that negativity roll off me like water off a duck's back. If it's not positive, I didn't hear it. If you can overcome that, fights are easy. George Foreman

The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence, and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has. Hamilton Wright Mabie

When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic. Charles R. Swindoll

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori Proverb

Just because you're miserable doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life. Annette Goodheart

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them. Elbert Hubbard

I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow. Abraham Lincoln

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. Scott Hamilton

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises. Leo F. Buscaglia

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. Proverb

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does. Margaret Mead

The general outlook is not that the person has died but that the person has lived. William Buchanan

Positive anything is better than negative thinking. Elbert Hubbard

For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain, it's how we dance within them both that shows our love and pain. Joey Tolbert

An individual's self-concept is the core of his personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life. Dr. Joyce Brothers

Laughter is a powerful way to tap positive emotions. Norman Cousins

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. Marianne Williamson

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it. Joe Clark

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. Albert Camus

Let us be of cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come. Amy Lowell

Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are ultimately answered. Daniel Webster

Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never happen. James Russell Lowell

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise. Alice Walker

The most positive men are the most credulous. Alexander Pope

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. Bill Meyer

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Betty Smith

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it. Confucius

The Will of Man Is Stronger Than Iron Bars. Anwar Ibrahim

Misery is a communicable disease. Martha Graham

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. William Arthur Ward

Where men of judgment creep and feel their way, The positive pronounce without dismay. William Cowper

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Don't let the shadows of yesterday spoil the sunshine of tomorrow. Live for today. Nandina Morris

The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders. Foster's Law

No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it. Ellen Glasgow

To everyone is given the key to heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell. Buddhist Proverb

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. Mary Shelley

Success is due less to ability than to zeal. Charles Buxton

Sometimes life's Hell. But hey! Whatever gets the marshmallows toasty. J. Andrew Helt

I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution. Wernher von Braun

The world is full of cactus, but we don't have to sit on it. Will Foley

Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles. Alex Karras

You must start with a positive attitude or you will surely end without one. Carrie Latet

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. William James

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune. Walt Whitman

Anywhere you go liking everyone, everyone will be likeable.Mignon McLaughlin

I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little impotent, and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope. Voltaire

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. Emory Austin

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world; everyone you meet is your mirror. Ken Keyes, Jr.

Say you are well, or all is well with you, And God shall hear your words and make them true. Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Good fortune shies away from gloom. Keep your spirits up. Good things will come to you and you will come to good things. Glorie Abelhas

Whenever you fall, pick something up. Oswald Avery

The best things in life are unexpected because there were no expectations. Eli Khamarov

There's a saying among prospectors: Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find. Robert Flaherty

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. Maurice Setter

If the skies fall, one may hope to catch larks. Francis Rabelais

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. Hugh Downs

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. G.K. Chesterton

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon. Konrad Adenauer

Surrounded by people who love life, you love it too; surrounded by people who don't, you don't. Mignon McLaughlin

Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. Italian Proverb

I not only bow to the inevitable; I am fortified by it. Thornton Wilder

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. F. Scott Fitzgerald

If we shall take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. Susan Longacre

We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs. Kenneth Clark

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. Epictetus

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there Where most it promises; and oft it hits Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits. William Shakespeare

A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body the wishbone. Robert Frost

We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt. Dorothy Day

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. C.C. Scott

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. Henry David Thoreau

Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. Arthur Christopher Benson

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities always see them, for they're always there.Norman Vincent Peale

There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go. Frederick Faber

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. Rabindranath Tagore

What is possible? What you will. Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Katherine Mansfield

If my resolution to be a great man was half so strong as it is to despise the shame of being a little one...William Cowper

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong. Thomas Carlyle

If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don't, you have achieved half your failure. David Ambrose

The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy. Eudora Welty

I never really look for anything. What God throws my way comes. I wake up in the morning and whichever way God turns my feet, I go. Pearl Bailey

Mind is everything. Muscle pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind. Paavo Nurmi

Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations. Edward de Bono

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Say Yes to the seedlings and a giant forest cleaves the sky. Say Yes to the universe and the planets become your neighbors. Say Yes to dreams of love and freedom. It is the password to utopia. Brooks Atkinson

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out. Art Linkletter

Is life so wretched? Isn't it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up. Dag Hammarskjold

Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved. Marcus Antonius

Be enthusiastic. Remember the placebo effect 30% of medicine is showbiz. Ronald Spark

Only positive consequences encourage good future performances. Kenneth H. Blanchard

To be upset over what you don't have is to waste what you do have. Ken S. Keyes, Jr.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn't be done, and he did it. Edgar A. Guest

My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next. Nora Ephron


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