17 Things Only Chronic Optimists Understand

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1. You know that being optimistic does not necessarily equate to being naive. It is possible to walk through the world each day with a positive attitude, while still understanding the way things work and the fact that sometimes, things are going to be difficult or painful or challenging.

2. You learned a long time ago that sometimes things are going to suck, and that most of the time, you can’t control those situations. But you also learned that things often suck a lot less if you work hard to maintain a positive outlook.

3. You can never resist a book or article or internet post that contains inspirational quotes.

4. Even though you know it’s often accurate, you have a hard time taking your weather app seriously when it says it’s going to rain.

5. The worst moments in your life are also the ones in which you believe your optimism is the most crucial. It’s always easier for you to get through a difficult time period when you tell yourself that tomorrow will be better. Maybe not tomorrow tomorrow, but some tomorrow in the near future – you’ll get there, as long as you keep fighting.

6. Rafiki from The Lion King is just as smart to you today as he was when you first met him 20 years ago.

7. Some people see winter storms as a cold, uncomfortable inconvenience. But you get through your commute home from work by telling yourself that tomorrow will be a snow day… regardless of the fact that you’re not in 5th grade anymore.

8. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.”

9. For the amount of times that you’ve made fun of the “#blessed” hashtag, you can still appreciate it for the point it’s trying to make.

10. Sometimes people confuse being an optimist with being bulletproof. They think that because you always look at the bright side, you’re less sensitive and less at risk for getting hurt. But, on the contrary, you’re just as emotional and vulnerable as everybody else around you.

11. There are plenty of times when your optimism can get in your own way, though. You rarely carry an umbrella, you underestimate how much time it will take you to get somewhere, you sometimes put faith in people who let you down. You’ve come to learn that life is a constant struggle between trying to be optimistic and practical, and you’re okay with the fact that you’re always going to be fighting to achieve that balance.

12. Your hangovers usually end up being a lot worse than you expected them to be.

13. You understand that everybody has bad days, even those who do their best to live every day optimistically. But you also understand that there’s a difference between allowing yourself to be sad and disappointed, versus living your life in a constant black hole of negativity.

14. Your mantra has never been to simply sit back and hope that good things happen to you. Rather, you’ve trained yourself to believe that good things can happen, as long as you work your ass off and do whatever is in your power to help get yourself to that good place.

15. Bad things might happen along the way too, like heartache and failure and pain. It’s part of life and there’s always a chance that things will go wrong. But the only thing you know for sure is that you won’t get anywhere by standing still and waiting for goodness to come to you.

16. The little things can not be underestimated. Coffee, humor, hugs, sunlight, Friday’s. The world can still be dark, but it’s a lot better when you’re appreciating the small things.

17. There’s always going to be a million reasons not to do something. But if everybody believed that, some of the most successful people in the world would have amounted to nothing. You believe that everybody, including yourself, is going to try to give you a reason not to try. Which is often just a sign that you should try harder. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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