The art of optimism


Life’s a bitch and then you die.
Nas (Nasir Jones)

Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.
Woody Allen

Life is just one damned thing after another.
Elbert Hubbard

(Feeling discouraged yet?)

Things I tend to complain about:

(And if you haven’t actually heard me complain about these things, its because I usually complain to myself)

  • How much time I waste at school
  • How counterproductive I am at school
  • How painful it is to sit in the hard plastic chairs for 7 hours straight at school
  • How little time I have to do everything I want and need to do
  • How little I eat every day
  • How little sleep I get every day
  • How annoying it is that I get so emotional over things
  • How my friends exaggerate and tell people personal things I trusted them with
  • I don’t have any money
  • The fact that it never snows anymore
  • The fact that I have a carpool to haul around
  • How rude the people in my carpool can be
  • The fact that the person I want to go to Cotillion with would never go with me
  • How people tell me I’m wrong when they are WRONGER (wronger is now a word)
  • How some people can be such hypocrites
  • How annoying and angry my parents can be
  • How my parents tell me my opinions and feelings are wrong
  • How my parents turn every conversation into a lesson on how to be a better person


Optimism is tricky. To successfully be optimistic, I have to magically turn all of my complaints into:

Things I have to be thankful for:

  • The fact that I go to a wonderful school and am taught wonderful values and skills and am surrounded by wonderful people
  • In the long run, I am very productive. In fact, with the amount of things I do with my life, my counter-productivity is very productive.
  • I have a chair to sit in all day. Because standing would be harder.
  • How many things I am able to do in my life, and with my time
  • I am able to eat every day.
  • I usually get a sufficient amount of sleep. And I have a bed, a pillow, and plenty of blankets.
  • I am able to express my emotion, and I’m not afraid of it. At least I feel. It’s good to feel.
  • I have friends to trust.
  • I have friends who will listen.
  • I have friends who care.
  • My parents provide me with everything I need, because I can’t provide for myself yet.
  • When it doesn’t snow, its warm, and I don’t have to scrape the ice off the windshield in the mornings.
  • It snows farther north from here.
  • I am fortunate enough to have a car, and I am helping a friend out by taking him to school when he can’t afford a car.
  • The people in my carpool are my friends and they love me.
  • At least someone asked me to Cotillion. And the person I want to go with loves me anyway.
  • The person who tells me I’m wrong helps me improve myself, and I have the opportunity to help them, too.
  • I have no optimistic view on hypocrites, except maybe for the reassuring fact that I am a hypocrite too, so I have no reason to complain.
  • I have parents.
  • They love me.
  • They care how I feel.
  • They want me to be the best I can be.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Albert Einstein

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa

*Special Note: It took me longer to come up with my pessimistic complaints than it did for me to realize all the great things I am given. Does this mean I’m a generally optimistic person? I think yes! (But I have my days)

Now it’s your turn. Try it. Are you optimistic?


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