You see them all around you: those people who smile no matter what and always seem to be in a good mood. Those people whose spirits can never be broken. They are eternal optimists, always thinking of the glass half full.
Unsure if you’re one of them? Here are 20 signs that you’re an optimist:
1. You don’t give up in challenging situations.
You’re persistent, and you know you can succeed even when the odds are against you.
2. You believe you can improve a bad situation.
No circumstances are so bad that you can’t make them better. Leave it to you to figure out how to make things better.
3. You don’t assume other people’s actions are a reflection of yourself.
You were passed over for a promotion? There must have been someone more qualified, and you’ll step up your game from now on. Your significant other comes home upset? Something probably happened at work. You know that less-than-ideal circumstances don’t say anything about you.
4. You feel in control of situations.
You finally got that promotion? It’s because you worked hard and earned it. Your positive actions lead to rewarding circumstances, and you control your own destiny.
5. You know you never have it that bad.
OK, it’s raining and you got mud on your pants. But at least it’s not a monsoon. Things could always be worse, and that’s reason enough to be happy.
6. You believe you can make a comeback.
Even when you’re down, you believe you can always come out on top. You always hold out hope for a change of luck, and you work hard to succeed.
7. You always find the good in any situation.
Like a Disney princess, you know things are great even when they don’t seem to be. Yes, you have to do all the chores for your step-sisters, but at least you have those talking mice to make you a nice dress.
8. You see obstacles to overcome.
You don’t see obstacles as permanent fixtures that will prevent you from reaching your goals. Instead, they’re just hurdles along the way that you need to overcome. They make the journey more interesting and the victory more satisfying.
9. You don’t look to the past.
You don’t cry over spilled milk. You move on with your life and don’t dwell on things that you can’t change.
10. You look to the future.
Likewise, whatever your circumstances now, you know you’ll be able to improve them in the future. That’s true even if your life is already pretty good (which of course it is, according to you). To that end, you think about the future a lot and plan ahead to make sure it’s good.
11. You keep a wide perspective when faced with bad circumstances.
If things aren’t looking your way, you’re sure to look at the big picture. A bad week or a bad year won’t dictate the next week or year. And if things at work aren’t looking up, at least you have your health and a great home life.
12. You set lofty goals and keep them.
You believe you can do anything you set your mind to, and you set your mind to a lot. You actively work toward goals, and you tend to do whatever it is you set out to do.
13. You don’t let missed goals get you down.
Everyone misses the mark sometimes. Besides, you hold yourself to impossibly high standards. Even though you didn’t hit your goal, you still did pretty well. You give yourself a pat on the back, learn from your mistakes and set new goals for the future.
14. You always have a smile on your face.
Anyone looking for reasons to be unhappy will find plenty. The fact that you’re keeping a smile on your face means you’ve put all that aside.
15. You’re usually healthy.
Believe it or not, being optimistic makes you healthier, and you can actually think your way to better longterm health. Optimism has been linked to lower rates of infectious disease and longer life spans, for example.
16. You’re not jealous.
If you envy someone else, you see that as motivation to accomplish more and to get to where that person is. You look to that person for inspiration and advice. Jealousy is a tool, not a vice.
17. You don’t let trends stop you.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve tried to accomplish something and missed your goal. If Ralph Nader can run for president five times, surely you can try again at a fitness goal.
18. You don’t hold grudges.
Grudges are for people who live in the past, not for people who want to control their own destinies. You forgive people and move on.
19. You trust people.
You always expect the best in others, and you inherently trust people until they give you a reason not to.
20. You keep watching television.
You keep watching that dang TV show that’s been going downhill for three seasons because you’re pretty sure the writers will step up their game any week now.