It is so easy to find reasons to be pessimistic these days; the way climate change is being mostly ignored by governments; the dire state of our politics; the news that focuses on disasters and horrors; the continuing chemical and man-made pollution that is all around us – the list goes on and on. And most of us adopt that pessimistic filter on a personal level: worrying about things going wrong; our money running out; losing our job; falling ill.

But it doesn’t help! Being pessimistic means that we fear the worst, and pay attention to what’s wrong, and just feel like victims of fate.

On the other hand, being optimistic means that we make the best of things and see possibilities for improvement. It isn’t the same as ignoring what’s wrong, or pretending that nothing’s wrong – it’s far more positive, constructive and pro-active.

Being optimistic leads us to look at situations and circumstances in our own lives that are less than optimal and ask ourselves: ’What can I do to improve it?’ It leads us to look at the bigger problems in the world and ask ourselves: ‘ How can I do something positive to make a difference there, however small?’ We feel that we have the ability to improve the way things are.

If nothing else, being optimistic means that we have and emit a positive energy field, which affects everything we do and everyone we come into contact with. (And of course, pessimism has the opposite effect – we give off negative energy and enhance our reasons for pessimism).

So come on: let’s do a bit to improve things in our own lives and in the world. Let’s have another go at that problem we have hanging over us, let’s use less plastic, let’s give that homeless person some money, let’s get out and vote in elections.

Imagine if everyone did just a little bit – we could change the world for the better overnight, and smile as we did so!

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