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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.

  • Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:01 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Tuesday, October 19, 2021 9:31 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Monday, October 18, 2021 9:17 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "I take delight in my inner nature, in my #virtues, and all my #beautiful#qualities. I must learn to be #optimistic and flow with whatever comes my way. Things have a way of working out for the better!"

    That's what @RitupaGhosh#ArtificialIntelligence shared with me. Thanks!

  • Sunday, September 26, 2021 2:34 PM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

  • Tuesday, September 21, 2021 5:41 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "Scientists have shown that optimism literally expands your peripheral vision, allowing you to see the big picture more than you typically do. Studies show that optimists have lower stress levels and more stable cardiovascular systems, and on average, live seven and a half years longer than pessimists. While pessimists are more likely to succumb to job pressures, optimists see job stress as temporary and external to them. If you look for the upside of a career obstacle and search for the opportunity in the difficulty, you’re more likely to overcome hardships and scoot up the career ladder faster and farther than a negative attitude allows. An optimistic mindset doesn’t arm you with magical joy juice, and you don’t become a smiley-face romantic looking through rose-colored glasses. You’re able to take realistic steps to cope with work stress instead of succumbing to it. If you’re not a natural-born optimist, no worries. You can learn coping skills to deal with career challenges."

  • Saturday, September 11, 2021 5:50 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Scott Smith: Happiness and optimism can change our brain for the better

    Psychologists have long believed that the mind and body are deeply connected and that thoughts can change our biology and that our biology can change our thoughts. Now there is some exciting new research suggesting that this is true. Establishing that the way we think and feel changes the way our brain and body functions proves that we have the ability to influence our own mental and physical health through our thoughts.

    Research found that rats who were rewarded began to anticipate getting the reward and that this led to greater neuronal growth in the “happiness” centers of the brain. This suggests that being happy and having positive thoughts and expectations will help our brain grow more in those areas that support being happy and having positive thoughts — making it more likely for us to continue being happy and having positive thoughts in the future.

    This means that making the effort to practice being more positive and optimistic can literally change your central nervous system at a neurological level to support being happier and more positive! This confirms the age-old concept and years of research suggesting that the content of our thoughts — being optimistic and positive — contributes greatly to our physical and mental health!

    The challenge is that human beings have a negativity bias by nature. In order to survive, the brain has a natural tendency to focus on what is wrong or threatening in our environment, rather than luxuriate in all of the good that exists. After all, for the most part, good and happy things will not harm us — so why pay too much attention to them. On the other hand, making sure that something doesn’t sneak up and “get us” is much more in line with long-term survival.

    There is even some evidence that negative events get stored in the memory by a different system than positive or innocuous events. Since positive events won’t harm us and we will have another chance to create them in the future — the brain doesn’t deem them as important as events that have the power to eliminate us. That is why negative events are stored much more quickly and deeply than positive events.

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    We have known for some time that negative experiences can also change our brain and result in a fearful and cautious view of the world. This natural negativity is sometimes more pronounced in people who have faced trauma early in life. Their brains have already learned first-hand that the world has harmful things in it and that leaves it set on high alert, scanning for more potential threats. These individuals can still change their brains for the better, but it takes more effort and time.

    This is the basis of anxiety — which is essentially a hard-wired, fifty-thousand-year-old alarm system that triggers too easily and too often for some people. The good news of this research is that it shows we have the ability to re-program our brain and to turn down our alarm system. We can overcome the negativity bias by the content of our thoughts. By practicing positive thinking and optimism we are able to create a “positivity bias” that allows us to naturally search for the good in situations, rather than the converse.

    Cognitive psychology has demonstrated the substantial influence that positive thinking and optimism has upon mood, health and ultimately behavior. People who view themselves and others positively are more inclined to be happy and productive individuals. They also live longer and have less depression, anxiety, illness, and disease. Optimism and belief that a positive outcome is attainable may be one of the most powerful predictors of living life well.

    Cognitive therapy is a mental health approach that helps people to learn how to think more accurately, and thus more positively. Positive thinking is not wearing “rose colored glasses” and pretending that there aren’t bad things that can happen. It’s about being accurate about all the good things that exist in life as well. Rather than being stuck focusing on the negative possibilities, cognitive therapy helps us to recognize the good and balance out our risk more objectively. This allows us to change our brains for the better and to live a better life!

    Scott E. Smith, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Arnold, Annapolis, and Crofton MD

  • Saturday, September 11, 2021 5:27 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Wil Darcangelo's Hopeful Thinking: What choice have we but optimism?

    What choice have we but optimism? Truly, in the end, there is literally nothing else for us to do but seek out ways toward which, at a minimum, at least our basic survival seems possible. This is instinctive for us.

    Of course there are other options. Pessimism. Obstinacy. Fear. But those things are not self-sustaining; nor are they naturally occurring. They require we bolster them artificially, through the misuse of power and authority. Through an avid campaign of persuasion against our natural instincts. There are those who would prefer we continue to exist in a little bit of fear. That is the way of the world.

    Well, clearly not all of it.

    Still, there is tremendous beauty, and even elegance, in the design of these challenging human classrooms. When we step back a bit from how difficult it feels to be in it, we see an arc of progress that occurs especially because of having gone through it. Is that benevolence?

    I find the distinction between hope and optimism meaningful. Hope is an idea about something we truly want. Optimism is buying a lottery ticket.

    Optimism is hope mingled with an at least semi-believable pathway toward what we want.

    Pessimism is a belief that good rarely occurs, and when it does, it probably won’t be anywhere near you.

    However, pessimism is still a worthy classroom of its own. Living within it often teaches us many things in the long run. But it is a long run to get there. If only we didn’t learn so much from grief.

    Of course many of us look for love in the wrong places. But that doesn’t diminish our desire for, and belief that, love might be possible. That’s optimism.

    The advice here is to have faith. It is the inserting of the “unknown variable” into the list of possible ways in which our desires might be realized. That’s the viewpoint that allows for unlimited possibilities.

    Do optimistic people live longer? We sure do. 10-15% longer, in fact. Even those with chronic illness.

    How does one shift more toward optimism? It’s easy to say, “Just change your thoughts and be more optimistic!“

    But we all know that’s much easier said than done. It takes practice. Not just practice, but life practices.

    That’s essentially the function and purpose of church. Of course organized religion is certainly not the only way to achieve it. But a deliberate shift toward optimism does typically require the support of others.

    We need to hear about examples where maintaining optimism proved to have been the best option.

    But spiritual community in support of greater optimism also needs a place to let go of the past. We need space to grieve — communally — the parts of us onto which we held so firmly for so long. The parts of us that were wrong for us, un-self-loving, resentful of the past.

    What’s left over is an exposure of the parts of ourselves which always believed anything is possible.

    There are many dharmic pathways and organized life practices in the world where there exist teachings that can help us. Some are religions. Like Christianity, or Islam. Some are not religions in the classic sense but present themselves rather as organized guidance. Like Buddhism and Hinduism.

    Each of them provides instruction on how to be at ease. Each has the potential to offer a sense of belonging and community, which aids our desire for peaceful inner change.

    Find a way for yourself. Find others who struggle as you do to retain a belief that all shall be well. We become part of the solution when this occurs.

    If you can manage to believe only one thing, believe that you are meant to experience joy. You are designed for the purpose of loving and being loved. You were created with beautiful and benevolent intent. Tap into it.

    Wil Darcangelo, M.Div, is the minister at the First Parish UU Church of Fitchburg and of the First Church of Christ, Unitarian in Lancaster, and producer of The UU Virtual Church of Fitchburg and Lancaster on YouTube. Email Follow him on Twitter @wildarcangelo. His blog, Hopeful Thinking, can be found at

  • Tuesday, September 07, 2021 5:50 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    Hays believes internet companies' continuing investment in the healthcare sector is quite promising, and demand for talents remains high. It is optimistic about the future of the medical robotics field, including surgical robots, rehabilitation robots, service robots and auxiliary robots.

  • Tuesday, September 07, 2021 5:46 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "My images suggest a #spiritual transformation with radiating energy, the ethereal emerging as a sign of hope and #optimism beyond our physicality. They are like visions, a spiritual awakening."

    Stanley Greening's art has been part of his healing process after his 24-year-old son Louis O'Neill passed away.

  • Tuesday, September 07, 2021 5:43 AM | Victor Perton (Administrator)

    "if Frankl and Gotlib are correct, it’s possible to have #optimism in the face of collective #tragedies, comprehend our lack of control over the future, and still kindle optimism about our ability to find connection and purpose."

    Susanna Schrobs

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