Yesterday, I came across some statements that were very optimistic:

“Stop seeking out the storms and
Enjoy more fully the sunlight.
Accentuate the positive.
Look a little deeper for the good.
Still our voices of insult and sarcasm,
[and] more generously compliment virtue and effort.

I am not asking that all criticism be silent.
Growth comes with correction.
Wise is the man or woman who,
committing mistakes pointed out by others,
changes his or her course.

I am not suggesting that
Our conversation be all honey.
[Let us] turn from the negativism
That so permeates our society
And look for the remarkable good
In the land and times in which we live,
That we speak of one another’s virtues
More than we speak of one another’s faults,
That Optimism replace Pessimism.

Let our Faith [in God]
Replace our fears.

We have every reason
to be optimistic in this world.
Tragedy is around, yes.
Problems everywhere, yes.

But …

You can’t,
You don’t,
Out of Pessimism or Cynicism.

You look with Optimism,
Work with faith,
and Things Happen.

Do not despair.
Do not give up.
Look for the sunlight through the clouds.

Opportunities will eventually open to you.
Do not let the prophets of gloom endanger your possibilities.
Cultivate an attitude of happiness.
Cultivate a spirit of optimism.

You can expect problems.
There may be occasional tragedies.
But shining through all of this is the plea of the Lord:

Come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart;
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28–30.)”

-Gordon B. Hinkley

I love his optimism.  It is a conscious one.  It is a willful optimism.

Some would say that you’re burying your head in the ground by ignoring all the troubles around you.  Some would argue that you can’t just be all Pollyanna with the world and pretend that no bad things exist.  Some would insist that you need to pay attention to all the storms and prepare for the troubles ahead.

There was a time about a decade ago when I saw the storms of society around me, and I panicked.  I saw spiritual dangers, and I panicked.  I saw the bitterness of political, social, emotional, and even spiritual hell, and I panicked.  I went into emergency preparedness mode.  I went into spiritual clamp-down mode.  I went into the bunkers of my mind and my heart…because I didn’t know what to do.

But now, something within me sees a little differently.  I’ve come to a point where I have stopped “seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight”.  Let me say that a little differently:  I know the storms are there.  They’re around us.  They surround us.  And they have the capacity to bring darkness and troubles in our lives.  BUT!  I’m not going to heed those storms.  Rather…I will look for Son-light.  Or….the light of the Son, Jesus Christ!   And enjoy it whenever I can!

That, to me, is willful Optimism.  It is knowing that the storms are still around you, but you focus your efforts in coming to the Son, doing His work, helping others, bolstering them, lifting them up, encouraging them, and being a force of positivity, optimism, goodness, and FAITH in their lives.   Yes…despite the storms.

It’s an act of Faith:  acting upon Good even if you can’t see what’s up ahead.

It’s an act of Hope:  knowing to expect the helping Hand of God as you do your part even when you can’t see His part now.

It’s an act of Love…because you then serve as an anchor for those who are struggling to get their bearings, struggling to set their anchors, struggling to regain their footings in the storms that they’re caught in.

It’s an act of Light and Happiness…in the swirling storms of Doubt, of Trial, of Despair, of Frustration, of Sadness, of Worry, of Criticism.

You can’t….and you don’t….build lives out of Pessimism, Cynicism, or any other Negative -ism.   You just can’t.

You take willful, conscious Optimism, roll up your sleeves, set your Faith, anchor your Heart, and go and get something done.   And YOU WILL!

I know that…because it’s happened to me multiple times last year.

Let us strive to be Consciously…and Willfully Optimistic!