Wednesday, March 6, 2013

following up with The Optimist

i finished reading
and decided to write out all the
secret messages, underlined bits
all the "i need to remember" or "ah ha!"
moments the book held for me.
i did pretty good.
it was only two pages in my journal
and that is because for at least half the book
i couldn't wrap my head around the fact
that he was actually making light of himself and his quest
to change the world through the interviewing and pursuing of
when i finally read the author profile
 i learned that he is a comedian of sorts
and the light went off as to why i was either laughing or slightly insulted by him.
i thought i would share my favorite lines.
they are quotes from the author as well as all the people he had conversations with
while searching for the "true optimist" which he concludes in the end,
probably doesn't exist.
at least not in the way he had imagined when he began the book.
it's my stream of consciousness ramble  
cover to cover...
and no i won't make you read all of them:)
starting with the quote that hooked me in the beginning..
"Deep down if you're an optimist, you know that everything is going to be OK. You don't know why. You just know. It's like your little secret."
"What I've learned is this: accept yourself and accept the negative. God is love so if we do loving things, be loving, love ourselves  and let the love for ourselves emanate out, that will set us on the path to finding the peace and serenity that is possible"
"True optimism is a deep confidence that you have the inner resources to deal with whatever may come your way. It's an inner happiness which is not dependant on outer circumstances."
"genuine happiness is a skill. It takes time to develop."
"optimism", he said, "can turn far too quickly into pessimism if conditions don't go well. Hope is different"
"In your heart somewhere very quiet is a powerful and very important voice- whatever you call it, your soul, intuition, God, whatever you want, it doesn't need a name- which is telling you what you should be doing. just listen to what you really believe you should be doing"
"happiness is a loaded word. People always have a reason that they want to be met in order for them to be happy."
"Tragic optimism is an attitude, and its defining characteristic is acceptance of reality. Tragic optimism means admitting that life is tragic but still maintaining the hope that tomorrow will be better."
"you just deal with what shows up when it shows up."
"i started watching thought and any time I was worried I'd say to my thinking  "thank you for sharing. I'm not interested. I'm not going there."
"you need to trust."
"just be happy now, and stop looking for it."


  1. Well, apparently I'm not an optimist...not exactly news...since few of the quotes resonated with me! I did really like this one, though: "Genuine happiness is a skill. It takes time to develop."

    And I'd be curious to understand his distinction between Hope v. Optimism - "Optimism can turn far too quickly into pessimism if conditions don't go well. Hope is different." - because I do indeed identify with the word least with what the Church (in her precise, archaic language) has defined as "the Theological Virtue of Hope."

    Also, I agree - comedians can be such entertaining writers...once you realize they're comedians!

  2. I like this, especially the one about tragic optimism! Heather x