Recently I spoke at a conference in Rock Island, Illinois. This was a very successful event speaking to municipal clerks from all over the state. After my presentation, a woman came up to me saying that her husband has terminal cancer and her child has a serious health condition, and that she really felt my speech to be meaningful as it is so easy to let all the negative stuff in life get the best of you. I don't think I could have gotten a better testimonial as it sounded like she was going through life's worst challenges, and yet she had an air of optimism and hope about her that I found surprising and comforting.
We all have our challenges. Some, like the example above, are extreme and can seem crippling to even the most hopeful souls, but the more I speak around the country, the more I find that life issues, big and small, can all be focused in a positive way. To be a happy person in the light of rough times is not a sign of blind faith, ignorance, or foolishness; but rather the research points out that it's beneficial to be a "reasonable optimist" and choose to focus on what we can control and not let the things we cannot control consume us.
So take that away from this post. Life doesn't have to be seen as all roses or as doom and gloom. You can be reasonable about it, and count your blessings.
It's amazing how many people lose sight of this, as simple as it sounds!
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