There are many types of mindset that we can chose from but there are 2 popular ones that I’m going to focus on today. A positive one and an optimistic one. This isn’t something I really thought about until I saw Simon Sinek on Instagram talking briefly about this. If you don’t know who he is, Google him, its worth it!

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that basically focuses on the bright side of life. So basically we are trying to look for the silver lining at all times and expect good results. A positive thinker will get up in the morning and say ‘everything is ok, I am worthy, I love myself, I am strong and confident. I only have positive affirmations and my future looks great and rosy’.

But this might tell you to go on and say that everything is ok……sometimes even when its not. To say that you are fine……even when you might not be. Because this is what positive thinking is all about. Its trying to have a perspective on life that is all about focusing on the good. It can sometimes give a false sense of reality and make you unable to deal with life in the real world.

Now I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, but I want to challenge you a little, to give you a different perspective. I want to talk to you about an optimistic mindset.

Being optimistic in your mind set is about believing that good things will happen in the future, even though things might be pretty rough right now. If you think optimistically you get up in the morning, you are grateful and will meet life’s challenges. You know that you may fail but that’s ok, you will take it as a learning experience because you have failed before. You will get back up and try again. You won’t know what the future holds, but you know you have the strength to get up and face what comes.

So what’s wrong with a positive mindset? Well unless you are a narcissist then your sense of reality can become rather distorted. Especially when you think about things in such a black and white sense. It can make it very hard to deal with things in the real world when they happen. You may not have made room in that wonderful day for all hell to break loose. I know I’m going to loose a few of you now because its extremely fashionable to think about positivity and having a positive mindset, but remember, this is a perspective, I’m not saying I’m right – I’m just offering you a different view.

The optimist knows that things can go wrong. That they might not go according to plan. They are happy to live in the grey of not knowing what the future will hold, but relish in the challenges that will naturally come their way. They know that there will be success and failure, positive and negative, but they are open to learn from those failures and be better able to deal with them in the future.

I had always thought of myself as a positive thinker with a positive mindset. I happily told people that this was how I thought and encouraged them to also do the same. To always look for the good.

Take the example of fitness. A positive thinker works out 5 times a week. But what happens the week when they can only manage 2 or 3. There was no room for failure, so they quit. The optimist will know that there are challenges in life that means some weeks they only manage 3 times and others 5. But that’s ok. Its about how we do in the long run of life that counts.

I now know that I actually prefer the optimistic thinking. I know there will be some good and I know that there will be some bad. Jack London said ‘Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well’. I don’t have to look at the world through rose tinted spectacles, always trying to find the positive. Sometimes we are dealt a shit hand at times. Its how you deal with that shit though, that’s the difference.

Now personally, I would much rather be an optimist that a positivist.