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Optimism vs Pessimism

What is the difference between optimism and pessimism?

What is the difference between optimism and pessimism?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character.

I’m Master H, owner and chief instructor here at the studio, and we’ve developed this curriculum to best meet the needs of all of our students from as young as three to as old as 84.

And this month, we’re talking about optimism.

I find that to be very, very appropriate because it’s January. And we often make those New Year’s resolutions, look forward to all of the experiences we’re going to have this year, vacations, and milestones. And we kind of look at the new year with positivity and a fresh light and all of the things that it has to offer us.

Defining Optimism

And so, as we talk about optimism, we need to know the difference between optimism and pessimism.

And when it comes to optimistic people, they look on the bright side. They see the silver lining. They have the ability to see all the good in the situation and creatively problem solve for the best outcomes.

A pessimistic person will oftentimes have a ho-hum kind of an attitude or feel as though nothing is going their way or they give up without even trying. They’ve set a goal, but they don’t work towards it.

We oftentimes can recognize those pessimistic people and those optimistic people within our lives. But there are times where we have difficulty ourselves putting on more of an optimistic idea.

And later this month, we’re going to get into how do we think optimistically? How can we change that thinking? What do we do when we’re faced with challenges and those kinds of things?

But to really understand the differences between optimistic people and pessimistic people, that’s what lays the foundation for what we’re going to talk about all this month.

What does optimism look like?

An optimistic person, I just remember going through a store and one of my kids was screaming and crying, and I was doing the best that I could managing that. And there were some grouchy people that were giving me dirty looks.

But there was an optimistic person. There was a person who obviously wanted to be the world’s cheerleader and patted me on the back and told me to just keep going, and reminded me that kids cry, and it’s okay. And that has stuck with me. 10 years later, I still can picture her face.

Optimism sometimes looks like kindness using your magic words of respect like thank you and please. Those go a long way to setting that positive attitude to the world around us.

Positive Mental Attitude

And as we go forward throughout the rest of January, we really want to take a moment and think, “How can I approach whatever, this is situation-wise in front of you in a positive way? How can I look on the bright side? How can I think creatively? How can I maybe enlist the help of others around you that could be a positive, optimistic option for some people?”

So as we go through January, as we look to the future of the rest of this year, let’s make sure we take a moment, think on the bright side, and see all the possibilities that the world has to offer.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here