Optimism affects our lives with either its abundance or its lacking. I often say that you can tell much about a person through their eyes – their story, their pain, their hope. Even in a photograph, the eyes cannot lie. They tell the truth whether they are dim with despondency or bright with expectancy. Optimism is the key to living life intentionally and genuinely connecting with others. With optimism comes hope; with hope, we are able to possess the belief that there will be a positive outcome regardless of life’s circumstances. It exists to offer assurance that there is a way for a positive outcome even when there is evidence to the contrary.

Though optimism and hope are closely related they do differ. Optimism is the channel for hope. It is the intentional and deliberate attitude of optimism which manifest into the emotional state of hope. My client Kristen had experienced much loss in a short time. The cool demeanor she presented on her first session warmed to a soft, vulnerable presence in the months that followed. Her eyes still told the story of sadness and loss; but after a while, there was a tiny spark of something new. It was hope. She no longer could turn a cold shoulder to her emotions. Although the pain was great, she was beginning to feel; and as a result, beginning to feel alive again. Kristen told me, “It feels like my heart has been in a freezer and is now thawing. That makes it hurt even more, but one thing I know that I didn’t before is that somehow, someway, it’s going to be okay again.”

An intentional life is established in optimism. It is the optimism that allows us to be truthful about who we are and is the primary component that allows the others – humility, forgiveness, and gratitude – to exist. Optimism is the core which fosters hopefulness. It is the ability to believe life can be good and satisfying. Yet, what if one doesn’t have this attitude and is more bent towards the pessimistic – or as some would say – the realistic point of view?

Read about the key components to instilling optimism in the book MESSY, coming out on Amazon, December 11 – 13, 2017, at a special three-day price of 99¢. Discover your strengths and what you can do to grow your measure of optimism.

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