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Optimism Versus Happiness

There is a big difference between being optimistic and being happy. I am coming to the conclusion that you can have optimism without happiness. However, you cannot have happiness without optimism. If my conclusion is true, which would you choose- optimism or happiness?

I have been a very optimistic person as far back as I can remember. Most people that know me would say I am a very positive person, but those closest to me, would probably agree that my optimism has not always given me happiness. In fact, my optimism has at times exhausted me and created great disappointment. So, what is the message here? Am I suggesting that we curtail the optimism or we cut back on the positivity? No, no. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am just coming back to the word that keeps popping up for me- BALANCE. We’ve got to find a healthy balance in every thing we do and in every thing we believe.

A few weeks back I came across a TED video about the optimism bias and I’ll share it with you at the end of this message. This video came to me at a perfect time, as I have been wrestling with the differences between optimism and happiness. In the video the speaker uncovers important solutions to creating a balance with our optimism. I’d like to add- seeking happiness- with her suggestions.

Last week I wrote to you about seeking happiness and this week, I’d like us to spend a moment on the idea of making ourselves our #1 priority. Every one of us places someone or something in that precious position. For you it may be your children, your spouse, your work, etc. but how can we expect to take care of these priorities if we don’t honor ourselves? What do you think will happen if you start making yourself your #1 priority?

Take a moment right now and consider what can you do to position yourself as your #1 priority? It may be that you make time for your favorite hobby, you make time for a relaxing bubble bath, you get more sleep, you exercise, you eat better, the ideas are endless and the real answer will come from you.

My hope for you this week is that you will get a little selfish and make yourself a priority, even if it means letting someone else down. Please share with me what you do this week to make yourself a priority. It would mean so much to me to get to hear about what you create this week!!!

CLICK HERE to watch the optimism bias video.