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Joy and Optimism: The Optimists

"An optimistic spirit experiences more joy.  A joyful soul tends to be more optimistic." (Victor Perton)

An Optimistic Spirit Experiences More Joy
by Victor Perton

An optimistic spirit experiences more joy. A joyful soul tends to be more optimistic. The connection between optimism and joy is undeniable.

In 2022, preparing for 2023 a significant year of exploring the connection between optimism, The Finland-based Art and Science of Joy approached me in my role as the COO of The Centre for Optimism. They had wisely decided that optimism should be the first superpower of joy, and we worked together for the 2023 Year of Joy. This collaboration started with an online conversation on Joy and Optimism, highlighting the undeniable link between these two powerful forces.

As Nóirín Mosley beautifully articulates, "Optimism fuels and enhances the joy that we can all experience daily. There is arguably nothing better than to enjoy and feel a pure moment of joy." 

This sentiment is echoed by Shari Alyse, America's Joy Magnet, who notes, "I have found that optimism is a catalyst for joy because it keeps me focused on the good, sets me up for wins no matter what, and keeps me grateful and appreciative for the gift of this moment."

My research outlines the numerous benefits of an optimistic spirit, from happiness and active longevity to better health, resilience, and stronger relationships. We amplify our optimism, joy, and happiness by surrounding ourselves with optimistic people.

The narratives, stories, and quotable quotes I have collected from various sources reflect the inseparable bond between optimism and joy. 

For instance, Robert Masters, Chair of The Centre for Optimism, reminded us that "the soul's joy lies in doing," highlighting optimism as a trait that leads to joy. 

Amanda Noz describes optimism and joy as best friends, intertwined and fueling each other, underscoring the importance of noticing the little things in life that bring joy.

In addition, Brad Riley beautifully illustrates the symbiotic relationship between joy and optimism: "Joy is the sunshine of the soul, and optimism its rainbow. Together, they light up the darkness of life's storms and remind us that hope is always on the horizon."

In conclusion, an optimistic spirit is a gateway to experiencing more joy. The choice to embrace optimism fuels joy and happiness enhances relationships and empowers us to navigate life's challenges with resilience and hope. As we cultivate an optimistic outlook, we unlock the boundless potential for joy in every moment. Let us embrace optimism, spread joy, and create a world of unlimited possibilities.

What's Your Optimism Superpower?

The Art and Science of Joy

"The world is indeed going through a period of great transformation , and to cope with this change, people need JOY and OPTIMISM as driving forces in their lives and not fear nor negativity. By leading more joy-filled lives, people are able to do more good not only for themselves, but also for other people as well as for the planet."

Nóirín Mosley

"Optimism fuels and enhances the joy that we can all experience in our daily life. There is arguably nothing better than to enjoy and feel a pure moment of joy."

Robert Masters, Chair of The Centre for Optimism

"The poet Shelley said: “the soul’s joy lies in doing.” An Optimistic outlook provides the trait that leads to joy.  Many studies have proven optimism helps people to be more satisfied with their lives and have better mental and physical health."

Amanda Noz

"Optimism and Joy are like best friends entwined together who understand and fuel each other. An optimistic attitude enables people to notice the little things in life that bring Joy, and that Joy underpins an optimistic outlook towards life. Optimism is a gift to help find Joy across time: in the memories from the past, the reality of the present, and the hope for the future. It is my inexorable belief that life will always have moments of Joy, even in the hardest of times and the Optimism to think those times will be temporary."

Brad Riley, managing director of Infostatus

"Joy is the sunshine of the soul, and optimism its rainbow. Together, they light up the darkness of life's storms and remind us that hope is always on the horizon. Without joy and optimism, life can feel like a never-ending winter. Embrace them both, and you'll find that the world is a much more colourful and beautiful place."


Paul Oestreicher, PhD

"The connection between joy and optimism is concrete and amorphous. You’re an optimist if joy is found in little things or in the small steps along a longer path. But joy can be short-lived, often driven by some external event. Optimism is more innate and enduring and comes from a mindset or from a deliberate redefinition of hope or success."

(Read "Paul Oestreicher has become Optimistic Redefining what it Means to Him")

Jenny Boymal, Co-Founder of Project Optimism

"Optimists wear a lens on life that helps to experience the most wonderful feelings of joy whether it is through laughing with friends over lunch or watching the sun set, joy shines bright."

Jura Reilly, Amber Jewellery Designer

“Optimism comes from deep within your soul and the joy it brings when you create a poem, novel, painting, a piece of jewellery or a new recipe for your family.”

"I have found that optimism is a catalyst for joy because it keeps me focused on the good, sets me up for wins no matter what, and keeps me grateful and appreciative for the gift of this moment."

"The journey of life is filled with many forks in the road. I choose to explore as many as possible with the optimistic view that every path will lead to learning something new, finding a gem to be cherished and bringing me a new sense of joy."

"Optimism brings us more joy. I’m all in!"

Dr John Tickell
"Optimism turned into Joy for me.  Thirteen years ago, I was diagnosed with brain cancer.  My optimism was complete, and I trusted my body and mind to respond to a newly trialled immunotherapy drug.

"Can you imagine my joy a mere three months later;  the unmatched joy to hear my oncologist tell me that the biggest of the five cancers was half the original size, and the other four had almost faded away."

Jacinta Ermacora, then Chair of Wannon Water, now Member of The Parliament of Victoria

"What makes me optimistic is seeing joy in other people: That brings me joy and a real sense of positivity. Also, I have the personality trait of being optimistic: I often see the glass half full rather than empty.

 "Collaboration is a joy for me. So there's a really powerful feeling when a whole heap of different people, whether it's a working partnership or a voluntary partnership of people working together on something. That gives a real sense of we can do anything, that optimistic feeling!

Judy Rodgers, President, Images & Voices of Hope

 It is the nature of the human spirit to express love, peace and joy.  We do drift from our true nature in some moments, but time and truth ultimately call us back to who we really are, which is the deepest rationale for optimism.”

"Joy can be elusive. We need to creep up on it by consciously choosing to see through the eyes of awe and wonder. Thoughts produce feelings. Observing the many small miracles of life, we become optimistic about creation. We experience an interconnectedness as we witness the magic of creation in process."

Andrew Cannon of  The Art and Science of Joy

"Our reality is very much our perception of our reality.  Optimism  can help many on their path to more joy !"

Victor Perton

"An optimistic spirit can bring significant benefits, including happiness, joy, active longevity, better health including lower risks of cardiovascular disease, better sleep, greater resilience, stronger relationships and increased self-mastery."

"Generally, optimists attract other optimists. Positive and optimistic people and their conversations will boost your optimism, joy and happiness. It can become a virtuous circle, but you first need to seek it out or set it up."

Read More: Join our Optimism Movement Today

"The most important thing in life is a sense of purpose; having that sense of purpose brings joy and happiness. This requires both hope and optimism, as hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today, the confidence that you have the agency to make it happen, and the ability to come up with multiple pathways to reach your goals. Optimism, in turn, is a key contributor to hope and joy, as it helps us to see the world in a positive light and to believe in the possibility of good things happening. Ultimately, hope, optimism, and joy are closely connected, and all are essential for a healthy, happy and meaningful life."

Catherine Barrett, Director of Celebrate Ageing.

 "I make a conscious decision every day to be optimistic – I acknowledge the difficulties and challenges and then choose to focus on what there is hope for. It brings joy into my life every day and has enabled me to be more resilient."

Ian Saines,
Optimism is the anticipation of joy!
Yinka Ilori commenting on his design for Marks and Spencer.
"My artworks are all about evoking joy and optimism through bold colours – even a carrier bag can do that! If something makes you smile, you’ll want to keep using it again and again. Hopefully, these colours and patterns will bring a bit of joy to people’s day and inspire them to keep dreaming and keep reusing them."

Norman Vincent Peale in The Tough Minded Optimist

"A thoughtful physician once told me, “If you want to contribute to the public health, I suggest you speak and write often on the necessity for hopefulness, optimism and expectancy. Put some real up-beat into people’s minds.” He explained how important is a happy and optimistic spirit in healing, and went so far as to say that pessimism in a patient reduces the natural healing processes by ten per cent. I asked how he could pinpoint a particular percentage figure and found him vague on this; but the idea is that when your mind is filled with optimism your natural re-creative forces are stimulated.

“Another physician, in reviewing his practice of some forty years, said that many patients would not have been ill and forced to consult him if they had simply practiced optimism, faith and joy. He said, “Quite apart from medication, if I can get them to lift themselves mentally for ten minutes every day into an area of pure joy—meaning undiluted optimism, I can get them well and keep them well.” So it seems that medically, also, optimism is important."

John Pesutto

“I’m optimistic because we get so little time to do good. Because of all the pressures, all the challenges that confront leadership, you have to make the most of every opportunity you have. You can't afford, in my view, to dwell or obsess about all the things that can go wrong or that are in your way.  There is a joy, a real joy, in achieving something, particularly as a political leader, on behalf of the people you represent. And it might be something little or something unexpected, or it might be something even grander.“


Dr Toni Meath, Principal of Melbourne Girls Grammar

“Schools are natural centres of optimism. Nothing can quite compare to the buzz and hum of a school in action. They are places where minds of all ages come together with hope and informed optimism to make positive change. In schools you will find a remarkable sense of fun, optimism and joy; it goes with the territory of children and young people.”

Jonathan Chrimes,  kindness advocate and Registered Nurse with the Australian Red Cross LifeBlood

"Optimism is a mindset where one harvests their many glimmers of joy and then uses them to act as an inoculation against the nadirs of daily life.

"Any surplus joy is then reinvested and used to project a more charming picture of the future in one's mind's eye.

Dean Troth

Joy and optimism are closely connected because when we find joy in the Lord, we have a deep-seated belief that God is working all things together for good. This confidence powers us to approach life with optimism, knowing that no matter what challenges we face, God is sovereign and His love for us never fails. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, 'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'"

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board

 "We must dig for gratitude. Researchers are uncovering links between feeling grateful and expressing gratitude and other positive emotions, including joy and optimism. This can also correlate with a greater sense of purpose in life; higher quality, mutually supportive relationships; and lower levels of negative emotions including shame and depression."

Kay Clancy, Transformation Specialist

“Optimism is not just a “doing”, at its core I believe that optimism is a “being”. Like a candle lights the path and provides hope and a way of seeing in the darkness, so optimism offers an anchor that the power to improve what is happening is ours and that joy can guide our outlook.  It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of “doing”. I often ask myself “Who am I being that is contributing to the reality I see around me?” Leaders who focus on their “being” with as much energy and enthusiasm as their “doing” will set an infectious stream of optimism running far and wide with an impact that is beyond measure.”

Chip Laingen in "Leadership & Optimism ~ and Their Relationship to Joy"

"We can be realistic as leaders, even to the point of being cautious in some things. But unless we deliver an optimistic roadmap for the best outcomes, those we lead won’t perform to their potential. And achieving that means living and exuding an authentic joy for the mission at hand."

Read more on Infectiously Optimistic Leadership


Valorie Kondos Field (Miss Val) in "Optimism vs. Joy"

"I believe Optimism is a choice ~ and Joy is a byproduct of that choice. Basically, I feel joyful because I choose optimism."

Renee Rosales in "Inviting Optimism and Joy into Everyday"

"I have discovered that happiness, productivity, and wellness are never out of reach and intrinsically bound to one another. I believe JOY is the tie that binds these three together, a simple acronym that inspires happiness: Journey forward, Organized optimism, and Yielding to Wellness."

Wani Wall, 

"What makes me optimistic?  I am a fortunate person, surrounded by creative and determined people who love solving problems; when they nail it, the joy is infectious, and when they don’t succeed, rather than dwell on the ‘failure’, they seek the next juicy problem. This makes me optimistic and inspires me to keep climbing those mountains."

Read More: Surround Yourself with Optimists

Chester Elton

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 centred. 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.


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


The American evangelist Billy Graham

"Optimism and cheerfulness are products of knowing Christ. If the heart has been attuned to God through faith in Christ, then its overflow will be joyous optimism and good cheer. You will never be free from discouragement and despondency until you have been tuned to God. Christ is the wellspring of happiness. He is the fountainhead of joy."



Baptist theologian and Pastor John Piper

"True joy is not based on external circumstances, but on an inward confidence in God's sovereign control and loving purposes. Optimism, then, is not mere positive thinking, but a deep-seated belief that God is working all things together for good for those who love Him."




Mini Dewan

 "Gratitude means a feeling of appreciation, thankfulness, counting your blessings and considering your smallest achievements as a success. It enriches humans with optimism by allowing to shift focus from what we lack to little pleasures and joys we actually have. It has some really positive and productive effects on us which includes a happy mental and physical state, less stress and a positive aura."

Edward Ring, in an essay, "The Power of Political Optimism."

"Optimism is the prerequisite for everything good—the motivation and freedom to innovate, the courage to coexist in peace, the character to work hard and accept meritocracy, the vitality to stay healthy and sober, the judgment to balance the needs of the environment with the needs of humanity, the faith to believe in a bright future, the charisma to attract others to a joyful movement, and the enduring conviction that we will overcome this rapidly descending tyranny."

"Optimism is being able to focus on joy. If not your own joy, then someone else's.  That's my take, anyway. Even more than "gratitude," which can keep the negative in perspective, joy drives hope and helps us see possibilities."

A Poem by Dr Gorakh Bobde, CEO of  AGSINGENUITY

"I will be Happy...
When I finish my education,
When I get a job,
When I get a good life partner,
When I have a house,
When I have a better Job,
Bigger income,
Bigger house,
Bigger car.
the list is endless, and it can never be completed...
So don't tie your happiness to desires, wants and wishes
For they will never be fulfilled...

The journey of life is enjoying the present moment,
discovering the infinite potential in it and
Celebrating every breath of it,
Enjoying the flow of life,
being hopeful and optimistic,
And I hope we discover
the Joy of being alive."

"We are custodians of gardens and nature for the future, and they are such an inter-generational source of joy."

Lisa Wilding-Brown, CEO at Innovate MR

"It is important to be intentional about creating joy in your life. But unfortunately, we can become so inundated with daily routines that we become jaded and less present in what truly matters. 

 "We are indeed elated to partner with the Year of Joy to instil wellness practices in the lives of our team here at InnovateMR. An optimistic outlook inspires success because your positive frame of view will encourage you to execute activities that align with that state of mind. 

 "I am excited to see this partnership's impact on me and the team at InnovateMR.”

Stephen Soo CPA
"Optimism opens our mind to curiosity and creativity; both are very important to drive innovation, progression and growth, in the hope of bringing greater joy and laughter into everyone's life."

Robert Baker, CEO of Potentia Talent Consulting, in "Wisdom helps us Be More Optimistic and Focus on Joy"

"Research shows that the quality of our relationships is a key determinant of happiness and joy. For me being with friends and family and spending real “quality time” with them fulfils one of my deepest needs and sparks pure joy in me.... Turning to optimism, what makes me optimistic is the propensity of people to care for each other, share with each other and laugh with each other... As long as people truly care for each other, we should always be optimistic about the future! It certainly also came home to me thinking about this question that with age comes wisdom, and wisdom helps us focus on joy and being more optimistic."

Radhika Bhirani in "Be more grateful each day: 6 reasons why gratitude can change your life"

"People who practice gratitude experience greater levels of overall happiness, joy, optimism and enthusiasm."



Syed Saeed Alam

"Optimism is a choice, and Joy is a byproduct of that choice. We feel joyful because we choose optimism. Life is experienced differently, even radically differently, by those who generally see the sun peering from behind a cloud and by those who typically see a cloud obscuring the sun. The difference between the two is interpretation. Life was created to enjoy. But it is also meant to be a testing ground, a moral boot camp to raise better people. Therefore, life has sunshine and clouds, warm weather, snowfalls and rain.

"Life is what we make of it by choosing whether we will focus on its good or its bad - both pessimists and optimists experience snowfalls alike. The difference is that it ruins the pessimist’s day and provides yet another moment of joy to the optimist."

"If we are to exercise leadership for complex world issues, we need to be self-aware and to pay real attention to optimism and to finding joy."

By Nick Platt

"Joy helps us to see the world in a more positive light, and to tackle our problems with renewed energy and optimism."


A Joke

“A psychiatrist has one son who is a total pessimist, and another who is a complete optimist. He decides on an experiment. For Christmas, he fills the pessimist’s room with hundreds of beautifully wrapped gifts and dumps a heap of horse manure in the optimist’s room. On Christmas morning he sees the pessimist boy sitting motionless at the centre of his room, eyeing his gifts suspiciously. But over in the optimist’s room, he sees his boy filled with joy, digging happily in the odorous pile. He asks the kid what he’s doing and he answers: Daddy, with all this horse dung, there’s gotta be a pony in there. 

"He brought joy and a magnetic optimism to all who knew him and was a loyal friend to many."

On Mark Cox


“She was still the life of the party, full of joy, optimism and sweetness.”

Stacey Mollus on Carol Dupree

2023 The Year of Joy

The Centre for Optimism was delighted to collaborate with The Art and Science of Joy and we worked together for its 2023 Year of Joy. The year of Joy opened with the Superpower of Optimism and our global online conversation on Joy and Optimism, followed by a Port Melbourne breakfast celebration of Joy and Optimism and other events throughout the year.





A Good Start to 2023 in Sydney

"If we can bring everyone together in celebration and looking to the year ahead with renewed optimism and joy, then we’ll see that as a job well done," said Fortunato Foti, whose family pyrotechnic company has been at the helm of Sydney's New Year's Eve celebrations for 25 years. 🎆

"Emotional Well-being as a Path to Joy" was hosted by The Art and Science of Joy and Victor Perton, alongside Melissa Goodwin, Paula Rosecky, and Heidi Smith.

On 26 October 2923 in the Americas and 27 October in Australian time, the discussion revolved around the link between emotional well-being and joy, with the speakers sharing tips on how to live a more joy-filled life by developing emotional well-being.

As attendees might have anticipated, Victor focused on the connection between optimism and joy. He illustrated how an optimistic spirit is more likely to experience joy, and conversely, a joyful soul tends to be more optimistic.

October 26 event


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