How To Think Optimistically

I don’t know where you live, but I live in sunny California. Yet, the last couple of months has been the coldest I have ever experienced during my seven years here. Yes, I know it’s all relative and that the nation has had bad weather. Still, I cannot believe how the weather has behaved this year.


But now it is Springtime! I am thrilled to welcome spring. I love this time of year. Everything from spring breaks to spring showers excites me. I can already see beautiful yellow flowers in my outdoor flower beds. Seeing the blooms make me happy. But isn’t it interesting how we can let the weather affect moods and attitudes? I know people who feel deep depression when it rains or is gray and cold for too long, and I know those who immediately perk up when the sun is shining.

Regardless of what the weather looks like today or tomorrow, I try very hard to embrace life and live it to the fullest. One thing I know for sure is I get to determine how I will respond to each day. I can enter the day with hope, optimism, and anticipation, or I can enter it with a pessimistic, negative, hopeless attitude, always looking for the worst.

As Believers, I want our default attitude to be optimistic. I am not saying that we will not experience the human emotions of frustration, disappointment, or failure. Still, when we experience these emotions, I hope we recognize them for what they are—temporary, and they won’t always last. I hope you won’t allow negative emotions to get the best of you, and when you experience them, you will quickly recover and get back at it. I hope you will learn to rewire your mind to look for the best, to see the glass half full. Remember that even the most optimistic person can find themselves venturing down the negativity. But there is hope! And as usual, I believe that hope comes from God.

think on these things

The Bible tells us how we can maintain optimistic attitudes and have happy, hopeful, and positive minds, and Philippians 4:8 is our instruction guide. This scripture has always lifted my spirits, and I hope it will do the same for you. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

You see, we do not have to allow our minds to wander aimlessly, accepting anything that comes along. The Bible gives us all we need to help us rewire our thinking; we must recognize “stinking thinking” and decide that nothing or no one will negatively affect your attitude; at least not long-term. The Holy Spirit will help us if we let Him.

The Future!

Looking Forward to the Future!

I read an article where a person who considers himself a loner and homebody talked about when the pandemic put everyone in lock-down; he thought to himself, “Hey, I got this. I am good at being alone. I can read books into the night; I can get the many renovations around my house done, and I can sit at the fireplace and imagine.” He said he really believed that, and the first 6 months left him convinced that we are not designed to go without human contact. This short description does not capture all that he shared—which was candidly honest, and I felt, authentic. 

I thought about his more detailed column and agreed to a certain extent. Although 2020 was a challenging year, I cannot believe that the future holds the same as last year. I am hopeful. As I sit and think about all that went on in 2020. I will not indulge in speaking about how awful it was. I certainly had my share of the harmful noise. Social media or television reported doom and gloom. I ultimately stopped watching and went over to Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix, to enjoy movies or some series that made me think or laugh.  

As we enter 2021, I am excited about what is in store for me, and for you, this year!  

So, what are you looking forward to this year? What would make the future so much better than last year? For one thing, we have a vaccine for COVID. Another is the hope of restrictions being lifted. Yet another, maybe the hope of interacting more with people we may have avoided before the pandemic. I bet I will be more intentional about spending time with people rather than opting to sit at home on the weekends like I once did regularly. I will take every opportunity to see family inside the United States as readily as I would jump on a flight to Europe. Although I can’t imagine not jumping on a flight to Europe, ever!  Whatever you are looking forward to in the New Year, I hope you experience it.

Maya Angelou said, “the future looks so bright, it hurts my eyes.” I have heard Oprah repeat that phrase repeatedly too. Never have I agreed more with the statement than now.  I think it is because I look to the future with an optimistic eye.  I also look to the future with scripture that rests in the back of my mind. The scripture is found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says God. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.” This scripture is my life scripture. It has always been one that I have relied upon.  Today, more than ever, I will be bold enough to look forward rather than backward because I will believe God’s promise to give me, and you, hope, and a future.