Apr 17

A Story of an Optimist #AtoZChallenge 2015 @AprilA2Z

 ‘O is for Optimism | Positive & Inspired Living A to Z’

Do you consider yourself to be an optimist? I sure think of myself as an optimist. Most of us would answer that question with an unequivocal YES. After all, it’s much nicer to be known as a positive person who sees the silver lining on every dark cloud. Nobody likes to hang out with Ms. Negative Nancy or Mr. Buzz Killington.Optimism

However, there are times when my optimistic self goes absconding, and I am overcome with doubts about every single thing that can go wrong. So I guess, that makes Optimism less of an attribute and more of a choice. A choice that we should make every single day as we go about our lives.

Today, I am sharing my favorite story on Optimism. Do read it all the way through, share it with your loved ones and spread some of that infectious optimism around.

The Optimist – Anonymous

This  is a story of identical twins. 

One was a hope-filled optimist. “Everything is coming up roses!” he would say. 

The other twin was a sad and hopeless pessimist. He thought that Murphy (Known for Murphy’s Law)  was an optimist. 

The worried parents of the boys brought them to the local psychologist.

The psychologist suggested a plan to the parents to balance the twins’ personalities. “On their next birthday, put them in separate rooms to open their gifts. Give the pessimist the best toys you can afford, and give the optimist a box of manure”, he said.

The parents followed these instructions and carefully observed the results.

When they peeked in on the pessimist, they heard him audibly complaining, “I don’t like the color of this computer . . I’ll bet this calculator will break . . . I don’t like the game . . . I know someone who’s got a bigger toy car than this . . .”

Tiptoeing across the corridor, the parents peeked in and saw their little optimist gleefully throwing the manure up in the air. He was giggling. “You can’t fool me! Where there’s this much manure, there’s gotta be a pony!”, he cried out in joy.

Do you think Optimism is an attribute? Or do you think it’s a choice? Do you think that people can be optimistic ALL the time? I certainly would love to be an eternal optimist. However, for that I would have to go up a level or two (or more) in my journey towards Zen.

Lots of Love


This post is written for the AtoZChallenge2015.


  1. What a great story! I’m still working on my O post. My N post is what your pessimistic twin might enjoy reading.
    Courtney Turner (@mauijungalow) recently posted…Natural Disasters (If You’re Too Happy, These Are Things You Can Worry About)My Profile

  2. That is such an adorable and wonderful story, one I hadn’t read before. Optimism, to me, is a choice. But, circumstances can do their best to curb that optimism on occasion. That’s not bad, of course. It’s how quickly we bounce back that matters 🙂
    Shailaja recently posted…Overcome- #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  3. Optimism is a choice that I always try to go for but sometimes all I can think about is the 100 different ways things can go wrong! I am trying my best to let that go and choose optimism everytime. Loved the story you have shared here 🙂 Hadn’t heard that one before.

  4. A lovely story which I had read sometime ago. I am a born optimist. I truly believe that you’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down. Looking at life and all it’s offerings with positivity makes the journey more enjoyable and worthwhile!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…O is for Obsessive #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  5. Its a great story and I remember hearing it, years ago in a session that was for the young people. I believe I am an optimist; and yes in difficult times, it becomes a choice…. when we make a decision to be happy come what may, it helps us sail through even the worst situations of life and we will learn to say. this too shall pass…..Practising meditation helps one to see life as an observer, and help in maintaining balance… thanks for sharing.
    G Angela recently posted…N – For National ParkMy Profile

  6. Nice post, Shanaya. Very inspiring. Although I have always been a pessimist in life, I am now changing my thoughts to accept a more optimistic approach towards life. 🙂
    Eloquent Mind recently posted…Oxygen #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  7. Optimism depends on a few things to begin with. A strong influence, especially from a family member one is close with – like my mother was a positive soul and had a powerful influence on me. My grandfather never held a grudge in his life and was never hospitalised till he died at 97. Learning such stalwarts, I choose to be optimistic! Also because I feel more energetic when I am optimistic. This does not mean that I am in that state 24/7. There are ups and downs, but more ups than downs. I pray and meditate a lot; writing also makes me optimistic. So I would go with choice 🙂
    Lovely post Shanaya 🙂

  8. Optimism has the power to change lives. I’m an eternal optimist and I’m proud of it.

    I absolutely loved the above story 🙂
    Soumya recently posted…O: Ocean Of LifeMy Profile

  9. Loved the tale. I think optimism is not a choice always. I have yet to come across a person who is optimistic when the going gets really tough. Yet, positive people find their way towards optimism and gratitude even in terrible circumstances.
    Rachna recently posted…The Royal and spectacular JodhpurMy Profile

  10. I think that you do have an inclination towards optimism or not. We can’t be optimistic all of the time but the trick would be to get out of the negative space quickly. The story was cute.
    Suzy recently posted…Love is in the Air – OpportunityMy Profile

  11. Prasanna says:

    Though I try best to be an optimist even in the worst of times, there are situations that bring me down. But my mantra is that this too shall pass. After all-good times or bad times-nothing remains forever no? That story was interesting, I would have probably used the manure for my plants 😉

  12. I am a cautious optimist 😉 love being positive but within limits. Liked your post.

  13. IMHO The story reflects the reality. Optimism is inherent, but parents can nurture positivity in kids, leading by example.
    Ruchi Singh recently posted…Olive BranchMy Profile

  14. I knew that story, have always loved it. 😀 Thanks for sharing. I used to be an optimist, but then life changed that and turned me into a pessimist for some years. Thanks to my husband, I don’t see things so negatively now. I guess I’m now a realist with optimistic tendencies… 😉

  15. Hi Shanaya – definitely being of a positive nature, a glass half full .. and always looking for the good points .. so much better to be an optimist .. couldn’t agree more .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…O is for Onen Hag Oll and Oddities …My Profile

  16. I have been trying my hardest to become more optimist. I find the times that I am I feel much better! It also wears off on those around me. I completely believe it is a choice. Love this story to show how easy it is to be stuck in a certain mindset no matter what the world is throwing at you.
    Mandy recently posted…Open Up Your Windows!My Profile

  17. Hahah that story is great 🙂
    I am an optimist about 90% of the time. Sometimes after being beat up a bit I can lose sight of it, but my optimism always comes back!
    ~AJ Lauer
    an A-Z Cohost
    @ayjaylauer on Twitter
    AJ Lauer recently posted…#AtoZChallenge – bOOty warmin’My Profile

  18. I try to think there’s a pony when I see manure. I’m usually optimistic about most things but once in a while, things like taxes and crime makes me wonder.

  19. I think it’s an attribute and a choice. I grew up with an extended family that had “complaining” contests, but I still try to choose optimism.
    Tyrean Martinson recently posted…A to Z: O Celebrations And Celebrate the Small ThingsMy Profile

  20. I like to consider my pessimism as pragmatic, but it gets old fast. Better to repeat to myself that nothing bad ever happens to me, get the debby downer out of my mind, then look for the positive in whatever happened. There is always a pony in the silver lining somewhere right?
    Tim recently posted…O is for Ottawa – A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

  21. I wonder if my tendency towards pessimism comes from the loss of my (identical?) twin shortly after birth…I wouldn’t be surprised at all as the impact of that affected me greatly. However, I am generally an encourager which seems contradictory to that. I also do consider the silver lining in events as much as possible. Uhm, what is it for having a mouse in the house?! 😉 Love the story by the way! <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…#A to Z Challenge: O is for … OpennessMy Profile

  22. I would say I am an optimist but I am also a realist. I cannot decide for one. Life throws tantrums and when it does, sometimes I turn it around with positive thinking and sometimes, I just accept it the way it is. 🙂
    Loved that story and your post!
    Parul recently posted…P for PatriarchyMy Profile

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