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A Million Voices of Optimism

We ask people "What makes you Optimistic?"   One of our strategic goals is to stimulate and collect one million voices of optimism.

In this blog collection of optimism on the way to "A Million Voices of Optimism," members and subscribers of The Centre for Optimism can post what makes them optimistic and the answers from people they have asked. 

If you want to contribute to this valuable global resource, please email our COO Victor Perton for a free subscription or support our work by joining as a member.

  • Wednesday, March 17, 2021 6:11 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    The conscious decision to put an optimistic spin on whatever comes your way has been shown in the past to lessen the odds of developing heart disease, losing lung function, and dying prematurely.

    More recently, researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago analyzed the results of two memory performance tests administered about 10 years apart and three general mood tests on the almost 1,000 middle-aged and older U.S. adults who took them.

    In the press release about the study published in the October 2020 issue of Psychological Science, Claudia Haase, an associate professor at Northwestern University, said, “Our findings showed that memory declined with age.” While that’s not exactly stop-the-presses stuff, Emily Hittner, Haase’s co-author and PhD graduate of Northwestern, provided some.

    She explained that the subjects found to have higher levels of “positive affect” (what you and I call optimism) tended to have far less cognitive decline. In other words, the optimists’ brains functioned better than the pessimists’ brains as they aged.

    In a study published in September of 2019 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences incorporating data on more than 70,000 U.S. adults from two prior studies, researchers found optimists also live longer, 11 to 15 percent longer on average.

    In addition, “the general expectation that good things will happen, or the belief that the future will be favorable because one can control important outcomes” increased the odds of living to be at least 85 - “independent of socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors (e.g. smoking, diet, and alcohol use).” The plain English implication of this: You can be indigent, a loner, a smoker, a lover of junk food or booze - or even a number of these things known to lower life span - yet simply by staying optimistic, you diminish their effects and increase your odds of living longer.

    While that’s quite an incentive to alter your attitude, it’s also quite a chore for someone who’s always preferred the harsh glare of reality to wearing rose-colored glasses.

    If that’s you, don’t feel you have to fake optimism. Instead, find something that fills you with purpose. It’s harder to be pessimistic when you’re filled with purpose.

    And easier to be healthy.

    Research performed at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine published in the December 2019 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found a significant association between believing you have a purpose in life and better physical and mental health. Conversely, those still searching for it tended to have compromised cognitive functioning and mental health.

  • Monday, March 15, 2021 6:37 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    “I am optimistic that business will be much better than last year at this time"
    Cynthia Poston, owner of CYNTHIA – Apparel & Shoes

  • Monday, March 15, 2021 6:28 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Three years ago, Josh O’Meara, Director of The Jungle Collective had a concussion (his 12th in fact, the result of too many knocks playing Aussie Rules football) that meant he was largely homebound. Unable to read, look at a screen or do too much physical activity, he got into plants. “It was a slow pace that I could really handle, but also that optimistic thing, when you’re recovering, and things are moving pretty slow, seeing that new leaf grow is uplifting and a reminder that things keep getting better. I think with lockdown, people found that same thing.”

  • Monday, March 15, 2021 6:17 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    “We see a renewal coming. We’re excited and optimistic about that emergence. The timing is uncertain.  Our guests love makeup, they love beauty, they love newness.”

    Dave Kimbell, president of Ulta Beauty

  • Monday, March 15, 2021 6:02 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Data scientist S.B. Divya in interview:

    At the end of the day, are you optimistic about the future? That we’ll get things right and turn around some of the problems that we’re facing?

    I’m generally pretty optimistic about the future. I think there are always oscillations like I said, two steps forward, one step back, and [some people] will react negatively to it and they’ll want to pull society back from those changes. But overall, looking at the long arm of history, we have always marched, on average, on that long arc in the direction of greater equality, of progress, of better quality of life, longer life.

    I think it’s interesting that in both Runtime and Machinehood’s early reviews, people call those stories or worlds that I’ve invented dystopias. Because I don’t think of them as dystopic views of the future. The way I see it, there are always going to be problems. We’re just going to be facing different problems.

    The future’s going to bring a different set of challenges, but hopefully a lot of the problems we’re facing today, we’re going to start to face and overcome. Any time that we make progress, anything new that shows up is going to introduce new concerns, just like the internet has introduced the digital divide. In some ways it’s a carry forward of the same problem of the haves and the have-nots.

    That kind of thing, that fundamental human nature, I think is going to be very hard to make go away. Just because we are who we are, until or unless we start deeply tinkering with our own biology and our hormones and our brain structures. At which point you could argue we’re not human anymore.

    Until we get there, human beings are gonna human. We’re gonna fight about all the old things. There’s still going to be greed, there’s still going to be lust.

    But I think overall, we will hopefully be healthier, we will have a wider reach for education, for food, for all the things that we really need, and for equality—for gender equality, for able-bodied and disabled people, for people of color, for people throughout the globe.

    Overall, I’m optimistic that progress will still march forward, whether people like it or not. We’ll hit some bumps along the way but we’ll get over them.

  • Sunday, March 14, 2021 6:50 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Monday, March 08, 2021 11:18 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Professor Gerardine Doyle

    "What makes me optimistic?  I believe there is always a solution, and so I am 'solutions' focussed. Having a positive disposition (and a 'can do' attitude) ensures that a solution can be found for every challenge, barrier or problem. I enjoy and appreciate every new day of good health and happiness, every day is exciting, there is always something new to learn and good positive people to interact with. 'Smile and the world will smile back at you' is not just a saying, it is a truth!"

    More Optimists on their Optimism

  • Sunday, March 07, 2021 4:53 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Sunday, March 07, 2021 8:36 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    NILGIN YUSUF in Harpers writes, "The definition of optimism is hopefulness, confidence about the future or success of something. Optimists see their Prosecco glass as half full, not half empty, but are we wired one way or the other? Is it possible to train ourselves to become more optimistic?"

  • Saturday, March 06, 2021 5:25 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Spiritual Optimism is learning to flow with the lessons and glow with the blessings. If we are aware of our thoughts, words, and actions concerning our challenges, we can stop the self- doubt and criticism from bringing us and our vibration down. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to feel slighted sometimes. It’s holding onto the feelings and letting them define us that makes us pessimistic. Anyone who tells you that thoughts don’t matter or that we are destined to live as our ancestors are listening to the voice of negativity. Soul mastery takes courage and perseverance. It takes a big heart but well worth the investment.

    Learning how to live in the light of the spiritual consciousness while still in human form on the Earth is no easy task. How do we balance these two worlds together so that it makes sense? Very carefully it seems. If we go running off on cloud nine because we can feel the spirit, Intuit for others and heal by channeling energy then forget to pay the electric bill, it will get mighty cold in the house. If we know, there is more to this life than traffic jams, mean people and yes, bills, we are blessed to be sure. Many people have no clue what they are doing, why they are here or how they got here. It doesn’t mean they won’t learn over a lifetime of love, mistakes, missteps, crazy adventures and misguided fortune hunting.

    Knowing what you believe in can help keep you optimistic as well. It gives you a base of peace to know that you have purpose and meaning. Helping others not because you were asked to but because it is a part of who you are. The human mind intertwined with the soul spinning in harmony and balance is the real power in our spiritual evolution. How long it takes us to get there is an arguable subject. The Earth needs our optimism now to create the energy to heal it. The energy of hope can permeate the minds of those who have the power to help change it. If we understand this, we understand how history can be used about what to and what “not” to do. If we know right and wrong in our humanity, if it is possible to become part of the human mind to inherit not to hurt another living being, then let that optimism be our goal.

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