Optimistic Quotes

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. If make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure for more info.

Are you struggling to keep your spirits up during a difficult time? Whatever you’re going through, we hope these optimistic quotes will show you optimism is a choice of will and hope, rather than a reaction to the world.

These quotes come from writers, philosophers, politicians, and many others who have struggled with a variety of challenges and difficulties. What do they have in common? Their belief that optimism helped them to change their outlook of life and achieve their goals.

Adopting a more optimistic attitude can empower you to overcome the obstacles you currently face, and ultimately strive for happiness and success in life.

Optimism Quotes

Optimism is a kind of heart stimulant – the digitalis of failure.

Elbert Hubbard

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.

Robert Brault
“To find optimism, look for the good things in life.” – Catherine Pulsifer

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller

I think I am going to have to supercharge my optimism to arm myself for the battle ahead.

Rebecca Bloom

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.

Oscar Wilde

Optimism is the opium of the people.

Milan Kundera
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Noam Chomsky

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.


What I’ve really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.

Bob Iger

Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.

Ambrose Pierce
“If you can’t give children optimism, then what are you doing?” – Matt Haig

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.

Nicholas M. Butler

Optimism with some experience behind it is much more energizing than plain old experience with a certain degree of cynicism.

Twyla Tharpe
“Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects.” – Norman Cousins

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.

Nicholas M. Butler

Optimism can be more powerful than a battery of artillery or squadron of tanks. It can be contagious and it’s necessary to being a leader.

Gen. Rick Hillier

I try to think about optimism. I try to look at the beautiful things in life.

Dolores O’Riordan

Self-belief, optimism, and hard work, these things don’t guarantee to get any of us to the top, but they at least give us a fighting chance.

Jason Ayres
“Optimism makes a life happier and meaningful.” – M.K. Soni

The biggest emotion in creation is the bridge to optimism.

Brian May

Sports uplift us. It’s celebratory, gives us optimism and joy.

Travis Kalanick

True hopefulness and optimism is what leads one to dare. It is also what lifts one back up to dare again after a failed attempt.

Bibi Bourelly

My optimism for life carried through my work.

John Dyer

Optimism can be more powerful than a battery of artillery or squadron of tanks. It can be contagious and it’s necessary to being a leader.

Sylvester Stallone
“Optimism can be relearnt.” – Marian Keyes

Urgent optimism is the desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle, combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope of success.

Jane McGonigal

It’s not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.

Lucy MacDonald, Learn to Be an Optimist

Optimism, then, is a fact within my own heart. But as I look out upon life, my heart meets no contradiction. The outward world justifies my inward universe of good.

Helen Keller, Optimism: An Essay

Optimism is joyful searching; pessimism is a prison of fear and a clutching at illusionary safety.

Kathleen A. Brehony
“Optimism. It’s not just a mind-set, it is behavior.” – Larry Elder

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.

Mary Lou Retton

Optimism inspires, energizes, and brings out our best. It points the mind toward possibilities and helps us think creatively past problems.

Price Pritchett, Hard Optimism

What is hope but a feeling of optimism, a thought that says things will improve, it won’t always be bleak, there’s a way to rise above the present circumstances. Hope is an internal awareness that you do not have to suffer forever, and that somehow, somewhere there is a remedy for despair that you will come upon if you can only maintain this expectancy in your heart.

Wayne W. Dyer

Optimistic Outlook Quotes

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.

Lucy Larcom

Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking.

Rick Steves
“They can because they think they can.” – Virgil

I am enjoying my life because things aren’t going the way I planned.

Rohit Pandita

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Walt Disney

It isn’t all over; everything has not been invented; the human adventure is just beginning.

Gene Roddenberry

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.

Lucille Ball
“Don’t let your failures define you—let them teach you.” – Barack Obama

No man ever threw away life while it was worth keeping.

David Hume

In the hour of adversity, be not without hope; for crystal rain falls from black clouds.


Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.

Marcus Aurelius
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The way you look at life can determine your success. As they say, look on the bright side. Have an optimistic attitude.

Catherine Pulsifer

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank

I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
“Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.” – Colleen Wilcox

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.

Christine Caine

I believe I have a sunny disposition, and am not naturally a grouch. It takes a lot of optimism, after all, to be a traveler.

Paul Theroux

Regardless of who wins, an election should be a time for optimism and fresh approaches.

Gary Johnson

You have to look to the future with optimism instead of negative ideas. Take the good and the bad and face it head on.

Goldie Hawn
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.

Winston Churchill

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.

Theodore Roosevelt

Be an optimist. Thinking positively will surely drive stress, pressure and frustrations away.

Melinda Bauer, Managing Emotions

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns. The pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.

Khalil Gibran
“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin

Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.

Nelson Mandela

Beyond each impenetrable expanse of thundercloud obscurity reigns a boundless canopy of brilliant sapphire blue.

Cara Fox

While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.

Benjamin Franklin

My optimism has helped me through some hard times. If you try to send out good things, good things come back to you.

Jan Brett
“When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes!” – Oprah Winfrey

I am an optimist… I choose to be. There is a lot of darkness in our world, there is a lot of pain and you can choose to see that or you can choose to see the joy. If you try to respond positively to the world, you will spend your time better.

Tom Hiddleston

It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.

Jimmy Buffett

Optimism vs. Pessimism Quotes

Pessimism never won any battle.

Dwight D. Eisenhauer

I am so far from being a pessimist…on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life.

Eugene O’Neill
“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” – Antonio Gramsci

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Winston Churchill

When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic.

Charles R. Swindoll

Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.

Thomas L. Friedman

To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.

Albert Schweitzer
“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” – William James

The optimist lives on the peninsula of infinite possibilities; the pessimist is stranded on the island of perpetual indecision.

William Arthur Ward

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.

Mark Twain

The optimist looks at the horizon and sees an opportunity; the pessimist peers into the distance and fears a problem.

William Arthur Ward

Being a pessimist closes the door to a learning opportunity while being an optimist opens wide the door for a better future, one of personal and professional development.

Jeff Ribman, Fail Better the Next Time
“Optimism means better than reality; pessimism means worse than reality.” – Margaret Atwood

It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success builder; pessimism an achievement killer.

Orison Swett Marden

The optimist turns the impossible into the possible; the pessimist turns the possible into the impossible.

William Arthur Ward

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.

Helen Keller

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.

Arthur C. Clarke
“Optimists are right. So are pessimists. It’s up to you to choose which you will be.” – Harvey Mackay

Be more optimistic. Pessimism is a kind of behavior that you learn . Hoping for the best and believing that everything is going to be fine in the end helps to reduce stress.

David Brown

We should celebrate when optimism and hard work triumph over cynicism, lethargy, and fatalism.

Sadiq Kahn

An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while the pessimist sees only the red stoplight. The truly wise person is colorblind.

Albert Schweitzer

No Christian can be a pessimist, for Christianity is a system of radical optimism.

William Inge
“Sometimes pessimism or optimism gets popular, and it’s contagious.” – Edward C. Prescott

There’s probably a little greater case for pessimism than optimism. But I do not rule out optimism.

Jim Leach

A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all–he’s walking on them.

Leonard L. Levinson

It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success builder; pessimism an achievement killer.

Orison Swett Marden

I think in life, you have a choice. You can either be optimistic or pessimistic, and I go for the optimism.

Jon Anderson
“The optimism of a healthy mind is indefatigable.” – Margery Allingham

I don’t think you lead by pessimism and cynicism. I think you lead by optimism and enthusiasm and energy.

Patricia Ireland

Optimism is life–Pessimism, slow suicide.

William Crosby Hunter, Brass Tacs

Funny Optimistic Quotes

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.

George Bernard Shaw
“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” – Henry Rollins

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.


The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh.

Tom Bodett

Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!

Oscar Wilde

Optimism isn’t funny unless you are laughing at the person, whereas extreme pessimism is extremely funny. It’s exaggeration.

Steve Toltz
“The basis of optimism is sheer terror.” – Oscar Wilde

I find nothing more depressing than optimism.

Paul Fussell

It can be said of optimism that while sometimes mistaken, it is never sadly mistaken.

Robert Breault

What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error.

Raymond Error

A pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant.

Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance (Nero Wolfe)
“Comedy is acting out optimism.” – Robin Williams

It’s not whether the glass is half empty or half full, but who’s pouring the water.

Mark Cuban

Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.

William Goldman

Now that you have read our optimistic quotes, we hope you are feeling more optimistic yourself! If there’s one thing to learn from these quotes, it’s that your attitude is the only thing stopping you from going out there into the world and making your dreams happen.

*Update: Originally published December 28, 2012 and updated on April 27, 2020.

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has invested in online properties since 2009. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie and his dog Oban. When not working on KIM, he enjoys traveling, poker, and anything related to crypto.