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quotations about optimism

Choose Optimism. It feels better.

Optimism is joyful searching; pessimism is a prison of fear and a clutching at illusionary safety.

KATHLEEN A. BREHONY, After the Darkest Hour

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.


Deep, solemn optimism, it seems to me, should spring from this firm belief in the presence of God in the individual; not a remote, unapproachable governor of the universe, but a God who is very near every one of us, who is present not only in earth, sea and sky, but also in every pure and noble impulse of our hearts.


The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.

JAMES BRANCH CABELL, The Silver Stallion

Optimism refuses to believe that the road ends without options.

ROBERT H. SCHULLER, Don't Throw Away Tomorrow

Optimism is the opium of the people.


The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.


Optimism is cowardice.

OSWALD SPENGLER, Man and Technics

It's not that optimism solves all of life's problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.

LUCY MACDONALD, Learn to Be an Optimist

Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man's happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.

ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER, The World As Will and Representation

Optimism is wide-open in contrast to pessimism's closed heart.

KATHLEEN A. BREHONY, After the Darkest Hour

Optimism works in conjunction with your life energy, strengthening your roots and keeping you grounded, stimulating the growth of new shoots and the development of new branches that form your life, energizing the creation that is you.

DANA LIGHTMAN, Power Optimism

Optimism and pessimism are mere matters of optics, of how you look at things, and that can change from day to day, or with a new prescription for your glasses -- or with a new set of ideological filters.

GEORGE WEIGEL, Letters to a Young Catholic

Optimism. It's not just a mind-set, it is behavior.

LARRY ELDER, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America

Optimism quote

There is abundant reason to believe that optimism – big, little, and in between – is useful to a person because positive expectations can be self-fulfilling.

CHRISTOPHER PETERSON, American Psychologist, Jan. 2000

The predominant quality of successful people is optimism.... Your level of optimism is the very best predictor of how happy, healthy, wealthy, and long-lived you will be.

BRIAN TRACY, Focal Point

Faith and optimism are contagious.

THOM S. RAINER, Surprising Insights from the Unchurched

Optimism, no matter how false it may seem, is necessary for species survival at a time when the ozone layer is disintigrating, mass extinctions are rampant, wars are as plentiful as ever, toxins pervade every meal and every breath, and nuclear power plants function near populated areas with human error as likely there as anywhere else.

GLORIA GARFUNKEL, "Lifeline," A Perilous Calling

For myself I am an optimist -- it does not seem to be much use being anything else.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech, Nov. 9, 1954

Unsatisfied desire is the characteristic feature of human life. That is the common fact out of which both pessimism and optimism are constructed. Dwell on the impossibility of ever getting a state of complete and permanent satisfaction with what you have, and you become a pessimist. Dwell on the opportunity for endless growth and conquest which this same fact makes possible, and you become an optimist.

WILLIAM DEWITT HYDE, The Art of Optimism

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, Letters and Papers from Prison

Optimism inspires, energizes, and brings out our best. It points the mind toward possibilities and helps us think creatively past problems.


Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency.

DAVID G. MYERS, Exploring Psychology

Optimism, then, is a fact within my own heart. But as I look out upon life, my heart meets no contradiction. The outward world justifies my inward universe of good.

HELEN KELLER, Optimism: An Essay

In Europe, what Americans see as optimism can simply seem like arrogance.

MARY FONTAINE, quoted in Working With Emotional Intelligence

Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.

MAHATMA GANDHI, Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Book of Eastern Wisdom

If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well this isn't to bad, I don't have a left arm anymore but at least nobody will ever ask me if I'm left-handed or right-handed" but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaaaa! My arm! My arm!"

DANIEL HANDLER (as Lemony Snicket), Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.


Thus will we deal with life, my little help-meet. Will we not, eh? What though it blink at us like an owl that is blinded by the sun, we will yet force it to smile.


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