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The Centre for Optimism

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Wisdom on Optimism,  Religion, Spirituality, Faith and Hope

There is a strong connection between spirituality, faith and optimism.   

Janine Kirk

"Without faith we have nothing, without hope there is nothing and without love we are nothing.  Optimistic leaders create the conditions where faith, hope and love can thrive."

Saint Josemaria Escriva

"Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace."

Pope Francis

“I propose these three characteristics for your testimony at this time: honesty, responsibility and optimism. All three accompanied by discernment."

Billy Graham, Evangelist

"I am an optimist not because I blindly hope - all evidence to the contrary - that somehow everything will work out all right. Nor am I an optimist because I believe in man's unlimited ability to solve his problems. I am an optimist ultimately because I believe in God."

Andrée Seu Peterson

"Faith, if it means anything at all, means unquenchable optimism in God."
in "Having an optimistic faith for the new year"

Helen Keller

"Even on Christmas Day do men remember that Christ came as a prophet of good? His joyous optimism is like water to feverish lips, and has for its highest expression the eight beatitudes. It is because Christ is an optimist that for ages he has dominated the Western world."

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo

‘As a Salesian, some of the most important principles l hold are of joy and optimism. In every circumstance, we are asked to maintain joy and optimism in our lives and Pope Francis constantly refers to having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.’

Jared Mellinger

"The Bible promotes optimism, but it is a certain kind of optimism. It is not the secular optimism of positive thinking or the natural optimism of a laid-back personality, but the godly optimism of Christian hope. True hope endures in the darkness"

Greg Sheridan, Writer

“Creation is good because God is good and he decided that creation would be good, so Genesis is not only rational but optimistic. The account in Genesis that God created humanity in his own image is the most powerful statement in favour of universal human rights that the ancient world ever saw.”

Paul Mogote, Mogote Investment Partners

“The case for optimism is quite easy and can be found in the Bible. Spiritual optimism and a strong faith can lift one’s life beyond imagination.  Now if you're talking about the human condition- there will be technological progress, political jockeying, ideological battles, good vs. evil, and so on. Human nature has been pretty constant throughout time as we know it. Good luck.”

Jack Welllman

Don’t we have every reason to be optimistic?  We have had our sins forgiven (Col 1:14).  We have had the righteousness of Christ imputed or accounted toward us (2 Cor 5:21) and we who have repented and trusted in Christ have eternal life (John 3:16).  This means that when Christ returns, we won’t have to face the so-called second death (Rev 20:14) and that gives believers every reason to have optimism about their future.

See Bible Verses for Optimists and Optimism

Loni and Rolf Uihlein

Optimism is the base of our understanding of life. It depends on our belief in Christianity, independent of what mankind makes of it: katholisch, protestant or others. We are sure, that Jesus Christ has helped us through our long life… Sure, we have had many problems.. but we stand always together to overcome those.”

Darrin Murriner

"while there has been a number of things that have contributed to my constant sense of optimism one of the greatest sources for me is my faith."

Read "Optimistic Persistence"

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein 

“To be a Jew is to be an optimist.”

 Rabbi Joseph Telushkin 

"Jews are optimists with worried faces."

Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

"You must follow the command of the Tzemach Tzedek to “think optimistically, and things will turn out well.”

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites.

Judaism "anticipates redemption, tikkun olam, a human reality that has no evil, just goodness.By anticipating redemption, we develop a tremendous drive to advance the process. This drive is what pushes humanity forward. It is what causes people to give of their time and of their money for the betterment of others whom they do not know and from whom they would not gain anything. This drive cannot grow in apathetic ground. It cannot exist in people who do not feel optimistic about a better future."

Dr Peter Riddles AM

“Optimism is the kindred spirit to faith; it is the glue for a more civil society”

Read Peter on Innovation (Members Only)

LaMonique Hamilton Barnes, Writer

"I believe what God says about me, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and He has plans for my prosperity, hope and future. I have no choice but to be optimistic, because I know this life is rigged in my favor!"

Konyka Dunson

“Knowing that my soul is tied to the unfathomable loving force of God, which causes the sun to rise gives me hope.  No matter what happens, the sun rises each new day, and my soul rises with it. That knowledge gives me optimism that never ends."

Riva Levinson

“Optimism comes from hope, which is sustained by faith, and drawn from a belief in God’s Plan"

Christalla Jamil, Headteacher, Eastfield Primary

"By having faith and helping others, my optimism grows because I am thankful. I try to surround myself with positive people, and whatever life throws at me, I seek solutions."

Sue Doherty, Mayor of the City of South Perth

"Faith is the foundation for my optimism"

Dionne Gleaton, Journalist

"Trusting and believing and the Lord makes me optimistic and gives me the strength to face another day. Things may not be all right with the world, but I take comfort that he’s still the one in control. I appreciate the comfort that his peace brings me every day and despite what may be going on around me locally and around the nation, I am uplifted by his spirit. That is what keeps me optimistic."

Renee Branson, Author

"Optimism, to me, is the belief that the current challenge is neither permanent or pervasive. Optimism does not require me to be cheerful or chipper but it invites me to be hopeful.  The most powerful optimism I have felt and witnessed has been through aching tears and white knuckles. Hope and optimism are strong enough to sit with us in our dark places.”

Colonel Matthew T. Fritz

"I believe that optimism is born of hope: without either, there is no opportunity.  Great leaders paint stories of hope, which sparks optimism in their teams to accomplish their mission and reach higher goals."

Karen Stanford, Teacher

"Being an optimist I am lucky enough to see hope everywhere. Inspiring people following their dreams, people being kind to each other & as a teacher, the children give me reason to be optimistic every day"

The Dalai Lama

“Choose optimism. It feels better."

The Dalai Lama

“Optimism does not mean being blind to the actual reality of a situation. It means maintaining a positive spirit to continue to seek a solution to any given problem. And it means recognizing that any given situation has many different aspects—positive as well as problematic.”

The Dalai Lama

“I feel optimistic about the future because humanity seems to be growing more mature; scientists are paying more attention to our inner values, to the study of mind and the emotions.”


Sister Shivani, Brahma Kumaris

"Unconditional Optimism is the Soul of your Faith"

Sister Jayanti, European Director of the Brahma Kumaris

Just as nature goes through its cycles, and day will definitely follow the darkest night, although there are many things that feel very dark at the moment, there is a conviction that light will not only penetrate the darkness but banish it - so that the day will begin. Legends and myths of every civilisation have remembered that the power of good ultimately conquers evil. This is the optimism with which I hold a vision for a better world.”

Listen to Jayanti's Meditation on Optimism

Charlie Hogg, Brahma Kumaris

"The first relationship in life is with me. If this relationship is healthy, the mind creates an infectious perfume of positivity and a natural optimism that permeates the atmosphere and uplifts spirits."

Listen to Charlie's Meditation on Optimism

John Lane, Operations and Compliance Manager at Mini Excavations

“Optimism defines Faith in your ability and the support of your work team and family.  Optimism is the precondition of human success.

Dr Adam Kassam, Chief Resident Physician, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Western University, Canada

"Optimism is the positive distillation of hope. Given the current challenges we face as a global society, optimism will be a vital tool for creative problem solving for current and future generations."

Bojosi Gamontle

"Optimism is hope made alive. It is a decision to exist above negativity and despair. Optimism elevates your imagination to a realm of possibilities. It is in this realm that creativity and motivation bloom, and success becomes a reality"

Warren Davies, The Unbreakable Farmer

“Without optimism hope is diminished, the future becomes clouded.  No matter the darkness of the days, optimism sheds light on the path leading forward  to a brighter future."

Victoria Cope

"Optimism to me is the essence of hope. It’s seeing opportunities rather than challenges, visualising a path to success and striving to achieve your full potential. Optimism provides the lens and focus we need, to be our best self every day."

Dave Armstrong in "Faith and Optimism vs. Reactionary Gloomy Pessimism"

"The orthodox Catholic remains forever an optimist"

Peter BainesFounder and Director of International OperationsHands Across the Water

"I remain optimistic because I have seen beyond the fear and into the soul, beyond the fear we fundamentally care."

Bill Gaither, Gaither Vocal Band founder and bass singer

“I've always said it all starts with a great song, and we are   fortunate that each concert includes great songs that have stood the test of time. With all the musical choices that are available now, there is still a special place for the joy and optimism that reside in Gospel music. Good news never gets old. ”

Russell M Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints speaking about coronavirus

“These unique challenges will pass in time. I remain optimistic for the future."


Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran

Contrary to the cynic and pessimist, the optimist has the truer perspective on Judaism. The “glass half full” shows us the power of that period from Rosh Chodesh Elul through the conclusion of the Days of Awe, Shmini Atzeret. When we open up our siddurim, we discover the most optimistic of all Psalms, selected specifically for this awesome period – Psalm 27. The Midrash teaches that the words L’Dovid HaShem Ori, the Lord is my life, refer to Rosh Hashanah while v’yishi, and aid, reflects on Yom Kippur. Ki yitzpeneni b’suko, He will hide me within His tabernacle, speaks of Sukkot.

A quick glance through the psalm is enough to find all the words that conjure up hope, optimism, happiness and strength. Begin with the first posuk and go through the chapter: light, aid, stronghold, not fear, confident, desire, dwell in the house of the Lord, pleasantness, shelter, safe, high, sing, chant, gracious, seek you My presence, help, care, teach, guide, land of the living, hope, strong, brave.

Fourteen short verses. Twenty – four optimistic words and phrases.

See "Jewish Optimism"

Chris Drake, The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust

As Alexander Pope put it: "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" and if we shut down hope, optimism and trust in goodness we are shutting down an inherent part of what it means to be a human being, i.e. to envision and then move towards a better tomorrow, with head, heart and hands. Having built our castle in the sky we do then have to lay its foundations on the ground in the muddy realities of today but not to aim for it is to condemn ourselves to it never happening.

“This is not to advocate a blind and naive expectation that there will not be setbacks, difficulties and failures or that we should ignore the benefit, prudence and necessity of precaution, planning, a fallback plan B and sometimes some healthy cynicism but. learning as we go along, we must look ahead with a smile, positivity and confidence if we are to have any chance of building the future we want. We might make it and we not make it, but if we don't try we surely won't.

“Pessimism closes the heart and soul, blinkers the eyes and lowers the head. It shuts off dreams and limits the horizon of possibilities. Optimism opens the heart, lightens up and lifts the spirit, boosts morale and stretches our vision to new realms, forging a bridge from an envisaged future, to which our heart soars, back to the present where we can work to make it happen.”

Craig Groeschel

"Optimism is the unwavering expectation that our loving God is working in every situation for our future good."




Alice Sidhu

“Optimism = Hope.  What is there to be hopeful or optimistic about? The fact that we are even thinking about having this conversation. That we can have it freely and openly. That our views are solicited, considered; they don't necessarily have to be embraced or accepted. It's the engagement and dialogue that matters.     And more than this? There is constant talk of change and the impact of this on skills, people and organisations......Is our perspective one of challenge or opportunity? Technology can help problems we have been trying to address for so long in health, education and the environment. Recent examples of emergency response in Puerto Rico have helped expedite recovery.  Industries are being transformed and it is all being defined with a UX focus.  It's coming quickly and can seem overwhelming. We can focus on that or we can think about new ways to learn, access information, develop new skills and deliver and consume services. A little scary, but if it wasn't we wouldn't be trying hard enough.”

Dr Tammra Warby,  Author, “The General Practice Exam Handbook.”

“Optimism to me turns a complete roadblock into a temporary setback.  My case for optimism is that as a living expression of hope for the future, it will pull you through the toughest times of your life.  Many times in healthcare and through natural disasters, I have witnessed how optimists respond to the worst thing that has ever happened to them.  It is a deeply inspiring and admirable quality to view in action. 

“Optimists firstly accept the reality of the situation and immediately begin workshopping the problem to solve it. They always ask, ‘What’s next?’.  Despite how hard it is to practise gratitude through pain, they remain appreciative of all that is still good in their life.  Whether facing devastation or illness, the optimist is already planning their adaptation or recovery. In the midst of the darkest times, they still bring their humour to the situation and find the lighter side. And they don’t give up, emerging from the other end as proof their hope was warranted.”

Dr Paul Cooper, Professor of Health Informatics

“Optimism must be based in your sense of what can best how people and organisations grow. Unbridled, unprincipled optimism is of no use to anyone if, like lemmings, it takes us over a cliff or doesn't lead to growth.  A wonderful friend and mentor of mine Thomas Stianos told me years ago that the function of a leader is to provide hope for the future.   These days I modify that quote a bit - to me the function of leadership is to ensure an abundance of opportunity for people.  It's not enough to give hope, or have hope (unbridled optimism) - you must create the abundance that creates the opportunities for growth.  This is hard work especially when things become tough (as they always will at some point).  Fortunately, "abundance thinking" encourages people to share, and to give of their own energies and this is turn creates optimism.  So breaking all this down, I think you need to first create opportunities for growth, people need to see that, believe in it, and then you can build the abundance.  Optimism then flows from that.”



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