The Difference Between Being Positive and Optimistic by Mark Sham

Today’s message is all about the difference between being positive and optimistic.

For the last few weeks, I have been in deep preparation for my HAPPINESS workshop which takes place next week Saturday, and I wanted to share one of the lessons with you that I have been reminded of during this time.

I have come to learn that although it’s a good thing to be a positive person in general, it’s also ok to experience times where you feel down, depressed, or even just a bit sad. In fact, to ignore this other side of the coin would be to deny the very nature of being a human being.

In other words, life is filled with many ups and downs, and there’s no getting away from either side. This means the idea of being positive all the time is a false narrative. Personally, I think the better way to approach the journey of life is by being an optimist.

There’s a key difference in that people who are trying to be positive all the time almost do so by pretending that bad things don’t happen, and that everything in life is perfect. Optimists realise that things may not always be perfect, but they believe things will be better in the future.

I have really come to see the value of processing pain, and sometimes even sitting in the fire of pain, rather than trying to avoid or numb pain. Quite simply, pain is a precursor for growth, so to avoid it, is to miss the lesson it brings with it. Which means, it’s ok to not be happy all the time, because this is a necessary evil of life.

2020 has taught me so many powerful lessons including this one. I like to be positive, but I am not positive all the time. BUT, I am always optimistic that the future will be better than the present.

I see this frame of mind as the most sustainable way to venture through life because it gives me permission to experience the full range of the human condition.

I hope you appreciate the spirit in which I’ve written this post. It’s genuinely ok to be down or sad. In fact, I suggest you take it all in, stew in it a bit, but always know the future will be better than the now. And if you get your head around this concept, I genuinely believe you will live a HAPPY life!

PS. Still 10 spaces left for the HAPPINESS workshop next Saturday. Give it some thought, and consider joining us. I genuinely believe you will be a better person for doing so!

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