Opting for Optimism: Gary D. Moyer in Conversation
"every day that I get up, I have an opportunity to make a positive difference in somebody's life"
Gary D Moyer, the author of "Opting for Optimism", joined the Centre for Optimism in Conversation.
At the Centre for Optimism, our first question is almost always "What makes you Optimistic?" Victor Perton asked Gary what makes him optimistic.
Gary told us: "What makes me optimistic, Victor, is I know that every day that I get up, I have an opportunity to make a positive difference in somebody's life I come in contact with, whether it's when I'm doing a speech or through my book, or through talking to someone in person or a handwritten card or a smile.
"And, and I realize that with that opportunity literally comes an opportunity that changed the world person by person, you know, through the butterfly effect. So that, I mean, that motivates me. That makes me optimistic. I can make a change. I can make a positive difference."
“Balanced, intentional optimism will take you deeper into all that life has to offer you. You’ll find that God has many beautiful experiences awaiting you and a more fulfilling, significant life. Remember, this beautiful life of optimism that awaits you is intentional. You can opt for optimism.” (Quoted from "Opting got Optimism")
Victor Perton: "One of the philosophies of the Center for Optimism is that Optimism is a state of mind, not the state of the world. And the other day, we saw Ukraine's President Zelenskyy on Fareed Zakaria's program on CNN. Zelenskyy was upbeat and optimistic and shared a video he had narrated. Fareed Zakaria asked, "what is the message that you really want to convey to the west, to the world? It's a very optimistic video, but we are still living in a very tragic, difficult time in that you, in particular are living in a very difficult moment. The president replied, "Why it is so optimistic is that we have a very profound faith in ourselves And a very profound faith in the west, a profound faith in people."
"Gary, what makes you optimistic about the world?"
Gary Moyer: "Well, it's people like you and me and the folks on this zoom more and more people I think are realizing the importance of becoming optimistic, whether you are naturally or not, which is what my book deals with. And the reality is this, the, the media would make it seem like the world is worse than it is. But what I do is I say to people, okay, you've seen what the news has been showing. Let me ask you a question. How many people you personally know are doing those nasty things you see on there and hardly anybody knows anybody perspective has so much to do with it. The positive, realistic perspective."
“An optimistic outlook though, by lowering stress, can be very therapeutic and healing. When you learn to see the bright side of life, you’re more at peace, which is better for your health and well-being. Optimism is optimal for our health, both physically and emotionally.” (Quoted from "Opting got Optimism")
Victor Perton: Our favourite definition of optimism is 700 years old from Mother Julian of Norwich, who wrote, "all shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well." And we think if she'd lived 700 years, she could have written the Harvard definition of optimism, which is a belief that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end. John Lennon added that if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end. Do you want to elaborate a little more on faith and the relationship between hope and optimism?
Gary Moyer: That's interesting because you mentioned faith as I come from the Christian religion and Christian background, and the connection is this: As a Christian, I have a, I believe God loves me unconditionally and that I have a hope of heaven or, or paradise; however, different people look at it. And so my faith is a, is a strong, never give up belief in that hope. That's what my faith is. In fact, in the Bible, Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And so, as I read that, that tells me faith gives substance to hope. And so that's really what keeps me going. I have a faith that no matter what happens now, I have an eternity. I mean, I only have 80 to 90 years here. I can make it through this. I've got eternity coming. Plus, I also have a belief that God is my strength. He'll get me through this. This is going to work. So I have hope, and that keeps me going. And that gives me true perspective. I can't be down when I realize God's got this.