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How to Be Optimistic and Think Positively

Life has been a great teacher for me. I have learned more from my various jobs and experiences with people than from books.

Think Positively


The Need to Be Optimistic and Think Positively

Undoubtedly, most people want to know how to be optimistic and think positively. This is especially true for older persons who want to avoid loneliness, sadness, and depression.

I have experienced a lack of optimism and even pessimism during big changes in my life. This occurred when I went through a divorce and after I retired from teaching.

My father who was optimistic and thought positively during most of his life became pessimistic and suffered from depression during the last 18 months of his life.

Based on personal experiences, I suggest six ways how to be optimistic and think positively in this article.



1. Love Yourself

If you want to know how to be optimistic, it is first necessary to love yourself. Self-love leads to self-esteem and self-confidence. With self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and have self-respect. This is reflected in the way you dress, talk, and act. Armed with self-esteem, you quickly develop self-confidence in whatever you do. Everything has a positive outlook.

When I lived on a farm growing up, I did not have enough self-esteem and self-confidence. Consequently, I was not that well-groomed and had almost no friends. I was pessimistic about establishing relationships with the opposite sex and generally felt miserable socially. This all changed when I went away from home and developed more self-respect and self-confidence.

2. Love and Care for People


Only after you love yourself will you be able to love and care for people. In loving and caring for others, you develop empathy, kindness, happiness, and self-worth. You are also able to immerse yourself in the dreams and aspirations of other people.

After I got married and had a family, I thought positively about the future of my wife and children. At the same time, I fostered stronger positive relations with my siblings and parents. In dealing with relatives and friends, I try to be friendly, helpful, and optimistic about the future.



3. Trust in God, Someone, or Something

After establishing a love of self and for others, it is necessary to have trust in God, someone, or something. This cements the love you have for yourself and others.

Many people have trust in God or a supernatural being that is a motivation for self-love and love for others. When young, I learned that all humans were created in the image of God. With this faith, we are assured that all of our love and care will bring us the reward of heaven after we leave this world. Consequently, we pass our lives and think positively about the future, never give up, and look forward to life after death.

For those who don't trust in God, there is trust in Allah, Buddha, or some political or economic system that will make our lives better. With hope and faith that life will improve, people think positively about the future.

Have a Purpose in Life


4. Have a Purpose in Life

After developing a love of self, love for others, and trust in a God or something, it is possible to have a purpose in life. This purpose in life might include being a good spouse, a role-model parent, a patriotic citizen, a successful businessperson, a professional person, or being devoted to God. With a purpose in life, you are motivated to think positively and struggle to overcome difficulties while striving to be happy.

The most pessimistic and depressing times of my life occurred when not having a purpose in life. This happened right after I left the Navy, following a divorce, and during the immediate aftermath of an unplanned retirement.


On Lantao Island in the Hong Kong Area

On Lantao Island in the Hong Kong Area

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5. Have Interests and Hobbies

People who have an interest in life cannot help but have interests and hobbies. After I found my purpose in life as a teacher, I became extremely interested in education and teaching and learning languages. I also found sports as a valuable teaching aid along with travel to foreign countries. My philosophy in teaching is that there are no bad students and everyone can learn.


A reunion with Friends

A reunion with Friends

6. Looking Forward to Something

Finally, looking forward to something that brings happiness is a great help to optimism and how to think positively. Anticipating a visit with a friend or a trip to an enchanting country cannot help but cheer one up and make you think positively. Since being retired and living in Thailand, I look forward every year or two to traveling back to the United States and visiting my siblings. I also look forward to discovering new ancestors in my genealogy research. The ultimate thing, however, to look forward to is being together with God after death for eternity.


It isn't difficult to be optimistic and think positively as long as one first has a love for self and others and also has trust in a God or something significant. By finding a purpose in life, one can also think positively by having interests or hobbies and looking forward to happy occasions.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Paul Richard Kuehn


Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on September 07, 2019:

Thank you for the great encouraging comment.

Sheila A Myers from Oregon on September 05, 2019:

Very great advice and fantastic writing! Thank you

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on August 01, 2018:

Sorry for the delay in replying to your comments. I really appreciate your comments and thanks for reading.

Maria Elizabeth from Cheshire/Greater Manchester, UK on July 11, 2018:

Great article with practical advice and I appreciate the chance to read your views. Your upbringing on a farm also sounds interesting.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on June 28, 2018:

Thanks for commenting! I am very pleased with your assessment of my article.

Ken Burgess from Florida on June 28, 2018:

I like you style of putting Hubs together, great article.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on March 25, 2018:

Paula, thank you for your wonderful comments. If I were not optimistic, it would be very difficult for me to keep living.

Suzie from Carson City on March 24, 2018:

Hello Paul, I firmly believe we all need to work on optimism and positive thinking, each and every day. Distractions, disappointments and stress come at us without mercy. Without a personal goal of peace and happiness, we can easily be pulled down and disillusioned. This is a wonderful piece you have shared with us, Paul and I hear you loud and clear! Peace, Paula

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on March 24, 2018:

Thank you very much for your supportive comment, Natalie. Yes, putting into practice what we preach is so important,

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on March 23, 2018:

This is written on a very important topic and though we are probably all aware of these points, putting them into practice is something else entirely. It is only through articles like yours that we will remember to keep trying. Thanks for writing this.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 13, 2018:

Thank you very much for your helpful comment, Denise.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on February 13, 2018:

It is natural to be down on ourselves after difficult disappointments. What we do at that point, however, can make or break us for the rest of our lives!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 12, 2018:

What you say is so true when trying to be optimistic as a senior. Thank you for your comments.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 12, 2018:

Mary, thank you very much for your nice review of my article. If I didn't have something meaningful to do or look forward to, my life would be miserable.

threekeys on February 12, 2018:

You nicely laid out how we can maintain our glass to be half full. Like you noted it is important to have something to look foward to.

I can see that trying to be optimistic when we are a senior, will be hard. I guess we had better make sure that we at least have one two people around who will shower us with tenderness and affection so that we at least feel nourished and happier with our lot in life that day;)

Mary Wickison from USA on February 12, 2018:

I don't think I've ever seen it so clearly marked out and the reasons why. Everyone talks about positive thinking but they never say why someone benefits from it or the steps to get there.

The other steps, a belief in something, hobbies, and something to look forward to are crucial to a happy well-balanced life.

A great reminder for all of us.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 10, 2018:

Thank you very much for your very supportive comment. I am very pleased that you found this article motivating and inspiring.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 10, 2018:

A nice article about how to be attentive towards one's life by creating interests and purposes rather than feeling miserable and weak. The writer has put forward his views very firmly and the whole thing is quite motivating and inspiring.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 09, 2018:

Thank you very much for your supportive comments, Louise. An active mind is extremely important and helps one stay positive.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 09, 2018:

Yes, Devika, with a positive mind, one can do anything. Thank you for commenting!

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 09, 2018:

As long as you have a mission in life, I am sure that you will remain optimistic.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 09, 2018:

I am very pleased that you find my tips useful, Peggy. Yes, faith and friendships are very important.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on February 09, 2018:

Thank you for your appreciative comment, Larry.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on February 09, 2018:

All solid tips. You have to find some manner of meaning and keep moving.

Great read!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 09, 2018:

Those are good tips Paul. Hurdles are bound to come along but having faith along with friendships can make a big difference in how we deal with obstacles during our personal journey of life. Having some purpose also helps. So glad you found yours!

RoadMonkey on February 09, 2018:

Very good ideas. I am always optimistic but I certainly hope I don't lose that as I get older!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 09, 2018:

A positive lifestyle allows for a happy lifestyle. I had no choice but to look at my life in a positive way. That taught me to be strong and with my positive mind I can do anything I want.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 09, 2018:

You've made so many interesting points here. Especially about having a purpose in life and having interests and hobbies. I always keep myself busy doing something. It keeps my mind active.

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