There’s a lot of feel-good stuff out there that implores readers to look at the bright side and see the glass half-full. Say we already understand optimistic people see the world. We recognize optimists for their cheery dispositions, their smiles a mile wide and so on.
Optimism isn’t quantifiable. Sorry! You can’t just read about it and get it for yourself. The good news is, optimistic people can be very pragmatic. And this- we can work with!
Optimists are all over the world. Let’s have a look at the rituals and habits of these pot-of-gold, end-of-the-rainbow type people. Forget their characteristics; what do these people actually do all the time?
1. They buy lottery tickets
This habit may seem a true challenge to pragmatism. It’s not to say optimists are foolish and buy silly things. Nor is it to assume they believe in defying astronomical odds with high hopes of winning. It’s a feel good habit. Optimistic people like lucky numbers, superstitions and a good gamble every now and then, indicative of their enthusiasm and positive attitude. You can’t win if you don’t play, right?
2. They read books… twice
Some people will never understand this urge, even the biggest bookworms. Those that read… and read again, probably don’t understand for themselves that this habit is indicative of optimism- but it is. A good story takes everyone somewhere different. The optimist can’t wait to be whisked away again by the same story. He knows it’s dynamic and despite knowing already how it ends, he knows there’s still more to know; that he doesn’t know everything. Confident of their imaginations, optimists know there’s novelty in that which isn’t new.
3. They walk the dog and water the plants
Optimists nurture their relationships with living things. They don’t hesitate in helping others- humans, plants or animals. They don’t make excuses about things that others depend on them for. Dogs don’t walk themselves. Optimism is portrayed in those that honor duty and obligation.
4. They retell their dreams
Nobody remembers their dreams all the time. Optimists get excited when they remember and they have a habit of sharing them. They’ll turn to the person they wake up next to and retell every out-of-order, nonsensical detail as if talking to themselves, trying to remember out loud. If no one’s nearby, optimists write down their dreams because they know how much dreams matter.
5. They travel on two-wheels
They bike to work. They splurge on a second vehicle, which is a motorcycle. Or, they’re scooter enthusiasts in a rainy city like Seattle. Optimists may commute or travel to the same places as everyone else but they have a habit of switching up the methods for getting there. Optimists roll down the windows and welcome the wind in through their hair.
6. They root for their team every Sunday
Beware the characterizing of die-hard fans as faithful. There’s something more at play than mere loyalty. Whether as tailgaters, season ticket holders, or sofa surfers –optimists show up. They scream louder, stomp their feet harder and take success and losses with sincere emotion.
7. They speak or study a foreign language
The ability to communicate with others in another language is valuable beyond measurement. Now, just because someone is “good” at speaking in another tongue doesn’t make them an optimist. It’s when there’s opportunity to use their skills, while traveling, that optimists set themselves apart. Refining language as a habit opens up new worlds for communication with others. Optimists will ditch the translation app and stash the dictionary to rely instead on their own instincts, awareness and sensitivity to cultural appropriateness.
8. They buy the first round
Optimists are willing to share and, if they have the chance, exhibit generosity. Someone will buy the second round, surely.
9. They order what’s not on the menu
If you’re ever in the company of the person that says, “Just bring me what YOU like,” to the server at a restaurant, you’re probably in the company of an optimist. For the fickle eater with allergies or dietary restrictions, the habit of not making menu decisions might seem frustrating or impossible. In reality that person might have something to learn about being more adventurous. Let’s look at it another way. An optimist with those same restrictions would just say, “I don’t eat pork, otherwise just bring me the chef’s specialty.”
10. They make the bed
Some people were taught (or forced) to make their beds as habit. In line with walking the dog, upholding obligation and routine, optimists continue to make their beds without being told. They figure a good bed is nice to come home to and who knows, they might have company? Expecting the unexpected is always on the radar of the highly optimistic.