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Ask “What makes you optimistic?”

Why don’t you try it? Ask a colleague, friend or family member “what makes you optimistic?”

By Victor Perton, the Author of "Optimism: The How and Why"

People ask what makes me optimistic. There’s a long list of facts and human advances that drive and reinforce my optimism. But the central thing that starts my day is an email and social media in-tray which includes people answering my question to them “what makes you optimistic?” I share those answers in various formats including social media, blogging and in books like this one.

Why don’t you try it? Ask a colleague, friend or family member “what makes you optimistic?”

Generally, they will be cheered by answering and considering their own case for optimism. So will you!

Megumi Miki said, “Even being asked the question “What makes you optimistic?” caused me to look for the bright side, which is very uplifting.”

Occasionally you have to persist. A father who followed my advice asked his wife and children what makes them optimistic. He sent me the answers from his wife and daughter but his 16-year-old son had told him to “Get XXXXXX”. I suggested he leave it a month or two.

Some people will say, nothing makes me optimistic! Maybe that’s true, they’re a pessimist. But if you persist without being annoying, they will eventually find some reason. Maybe share some of the quotable quotes from this website.

Read More From Optimists on their Optimism

Early one morning I met an engineer in Delhi, India, who looked a little sad. I asked him the question to which he responded “nothing.” We talked a little longer, including some reasons for optimism. The following day at breakfast, I suddenly heard a large voice calling, “Vince, Vince.” The engineer told me I had changed his whole day and his outlook for the fortnight in India.

He couldn’t remember my name but he remembered how I had made him feel.

So take a break from this website.

Go and ask someone, “What makes you optimistic?”

Face-to-face is best but a phone call or electronic message will work out! If the answer inspires you, turn it into a poster and send it back to them. Ask them if you can share it on social media and do so!

What makes you optimistic?

Worth Doing: Our 5-Minute Survey on "What makes you Optimistic?"

Author Megumi Miki told me, “Even being asked the question “What makes you optimistic?” caused me to look for the bright side, which is very uplifting. When you couple optimism with the courage to confront reality, it is a powerful force for positive change.”

Comedian Rob Auton wrote, "How do we stay optimistic in times of such uncertainty? I think the best place to start is asking what I am certain of and why I should be optimistic about that."

Chester Elton, Author, Speaker, Coach, Mentor on being asked "What makes you Optimistic?"


What a wonderful question!

My faith, family and friends keep Me optimistic. 

Faith because I believe that there is a plan for all of us that leads to happiness and fulfillment. It also allows me to serve my fellow man and that brings me great joy. 

Family is what keeps me centered. My wife Heidi of 37 years helps me keep my life in balance. My children and grandchildren that always amaze me with their curiosity and goodness. 

And friends that love and encourage me every day. They help me and allow me to help them. 

Because of my faith, family and friends I have much to be grateful for in my life. It keeps me optimistic! It brings me great happiness and joy. 

Thank you for asking and allowing me this time to reflect on the many good things in my life. 

My father would say, “happiness is a choice. Chose to be happy.” Not always easy. Always worth the try. 

I hope this helps. 


Read more on the habits of optimism and inspiring quotable quotes in "Optimism: The How and Why" by Victor Perton, CEO of The Centre for Optimism.Optimism: The How and Why Cover

Gratitude JournalProject Optimism has produced "The Optimist's Gratitude Journal: 100 days to share and develop your gratitude" which is very helpful.


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