Forget Reality, or, Optimism for the Optimistic Optimist

Optimism? How can anyone be an optimist during these times? What grounds are there for being optimistic, anyway? Is it at all realistic?

A few weeks ago a friend asked me how I learned to see the good in life and the good in people. The question stopped me. I had to think. It’s true I look for the good in people and in life. It’s true I learned to do it.

But how? When? Why?

I remember being very unhappy in college. One time I sat on the steps of the house I had a room in (back at Kent State University), feeling sad. A couple walking by looked at me. The woman said, “You look really unhappy.”

A close friend of mine in college even went as far as to say I was “naturally pessimistic.”

Decades ago, on the streets of Dallas, jobless and sleepless with worry, I stood at a bus stop. A man crossing the street looked at me and said, “You look terrible.”

That doesn’t happen today.

No one says I am pessimistic today.

joe and lynne mctaggart

Why not?

Why am I smiling in this recent photo of Lynne McTaggart (author of The Intention Experiment and The Field)?

Why do I smile more often than not these days?

Why am I now “naturally optimistic”?

What happened to the natural pessimist?

Here’s the secret: I’ve spent a fortune to work on myself over the last few decades – meaning I read books, listened to audios,  attended events, and got coaches.

All of this personal development helped me erase the beliefs causing my feelings and behavior.

All of this led to a transformation that today is so dramatically different than what I once was, I’m only the same person by name.

The point is this: Anything can be learned. Anyone can change.

The new science of neuro-plasticity is proving it. So is the new science of positive psychology. We live in an exciting world where even science is starting to point to the miraculous.

But back to me seeing the good in people and in life.

Attract Money Now

I learned from legendary psychologist William James that whatever I focus on will expand. It’s basic Law of Attraction but without the woo-woo. It’s fundamental psychology.

If you look for bad things, you’ll tend to find them, focus on them, and then see more of them. Your focus will “expand” them into your life.

Change your focus and you change your life.

This is why the work of Will Bowen (author of A Complaint-Free World) and his complaint-free world movement is so important. I’m on his board of directors because I know the power of not complaining but instead stating what you want.

In Law of Attraction terms (as explained in my book The Attractor Factor) it simply means don’t state what you don’t want (the complaint) but instead declare what you do want (your intention).

When it comes to other people, Goethe had something to say about this, too:

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”

I’ve also learned that when you find the good in people and situations, you feel better. You’re happier, healthier, and ultimately wealthier.

People around you feel better, too. They don’t have to defend themselves from your complaining about them or trying to change them.

You love them and they feel it.

zero_limits_productThis is the core of the Zero Limits ho’oponopono process, as well. You don’t try to change anyone. After all, they are mirror images of you, anyway. Whatever you don’t like in them is something you don’t like inside you.

Might as well love what you see.

It’s you.

In short, reality is what you see, and what you see is what you choose.

Whether the glass is half empty or half full is a choice of perception.

It may not feel like a choice when you start practicing this way of living, but only because of habit. As you continue to pause, decide on what you want to see in any moment, and choose the positive view, you soon learn that being an optimist is a very realistic thing to do. It will become your new nature.

I love that more and people are learning to be optimistic about life. There are a long line of books and people teaching us you have a choice about how you can view life. Whether actor Michael J. Fox (author, Always Looking Up) or Joe Vitale (author, Attract Money Now), the lesson is the same: focus on what you want and you’ll tend to bring it about.

Where is your focus?

joe face portrait Ao Akua,

Dr. Joe Vitale

PS — Nothing works faster to transform you than having your own coach. Please check out my famous Miracles Coaching program. If you want to be optimistic no matter what, and live the life of an optimist breathing optimism, coaching can be your ticket to freedom. Forget reality. It’s only what you perceive, and your perception is under your control.


  1. August 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm


    I love how even your book title “Attract Money Now” reflects the philosophies you’re talking about in this post.

    Congratulations on your massive success, and thank-you for your influence in my life.



  2. August 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I used to be a pessimist too. In fact, I still can get into a short term funk once in a while. It usually happens if a lose my vision, and listen to grumbling and whining too much.

    I’m still human, but I know the power of focus, the power of choosing to live for a vision.

    That’s why I changed my name to the number of vision, the number of PERFECT VISION.

    Not because I am perfect visionary, but because I SEE what happens when you choose to live for something bigger than you, and that living with a focus directed toward something POSITIVE can help change the world.

    Keep changing the world with your vision Joe.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon,

    Twenty Twenty
    That guy who really did change his name to the number of perfect vision, because helping YOU live YOUR VISION matters.

  3. August 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I worked with one of your Miracles coaches a while back and am now selling art work to people – they aren’t just buying one picture at a time they buy 7 or 8 – that’s the power of thought.
    I am working doing all sorts of things and taking the opportunities all the time.

    It’s a miracle that we are flying around on a planet ina huge galaxy. When you realise that there isn’t much you can’t do. If you are breathing you are on the winning team.

    Forever reinventing myself – that’s the fun bit !

    Love and Miracles,
    Sally F

  4. August 17, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Joe, I’m an optimist. But there is this study by Joanne Wood and John Lee at University of Waterloo mentioning that positive thinking hurts people with low self esteem.

    I know that positive thinking must be accompanied by realistic thinking. Not everything can be as good as what we always want. What do you think about this study?

  5. August 17, 2009 at 3:04 am

    That means I’m on the right way. Which means a lot…

  6. August 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Joe,

    This is an awesome post, thank you! It reminded me of part of a chorus in a song I wrote:

    It’s time to change your perspective
    Have a grateful attitude
    Choose to see what’s right
    Forget about what’s wrong

    And yes, being human sometimes happens, where we zoom in on what’s wrong. I think the key is how quick we can catch that and shift back over to what is right. It’s all in the attitude.

    Blessings to you and Nerissa,


  7. lee-Reply
    August 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Joe-I agree with that philosophy-but when the people in your life don’t agree with it, it is complex to say the least. It is hard to then focus on those things that are positive when these “people” are constantzly “zeroing” in on the negative. I agree that we need to surround ourselves with positive folks, and sometimes these toxic relationships need to be “cleaned up” but that is not always easy either. Thank you for writing your new free book-I do enjoy your philosophy-although not new-you present it in a way thaat the masses can comprehend.
    thank you i love you please forgice me im sorry

  8. christine-Reply
    August 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Hello Joe,

    After reading your post, I was reflecting on how the only pessimism that exists in my life is a result of choosing to go into other people’s worlds. Basically, I witness pessimism in their ‘reality’. As I complete my ‘missions’, these people naturally dissolve out of my life unless they choose to come into mine or at least one of their own creation that is similar in frequency.

    I shall read your book when you make it available. Thanks in advance.

    [Watching over you.]

  9. Edward Litors-Reply
    August 18, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Happiness truly is something everyone can and should have. But your thoughts and feelings have to be there in order for you to truly experience it. Guys, please read this Article I came across, it’s very powerful. And if you guys have $7 to invest in yourself, look into this audio product I bought a few weeks back, I think you will get a lot out of it like I have.


  10. mates-Reply
    August 25, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Hi everyone. Joe, why you lost your hair? i am 18 years old and i lost hair and hairs, but i am healthy. Can hair re-grow me?

  11. August 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    😀 Hey Joe,

    I like your post about optimism. I just came home with my grandson from an Optimist International brat stand raising money for youth programs. I have been a member of the Optimists since 1982 and I encourage anyone to go to the site and read the Optimist creed ( We can always use more optimistic people in our group. We even have a club in Baghdad! Send me an e-mail if you want more info. [email protected]

  12. September 27, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Just what I needed for my challenge of the week. Was on the carpet last week for not completing a task and did not know how to exit with a positive outcome. A combination of anger at myself and others is seething within me. This week I will start with looking for the good in others and situations and apply “Expecting Miracles”.

    Thanks Joe, for laying out the optimist track to pursue and grow!

    God Bless,

  13. October 9, 2009 at 6:46 am

    After listening to Zero limits that was shared with by a friend. I was moved me to share this: I wrote on the glass of water that I use each morning, I am Sorry, Please Forgive me, I love you, Written in reverse so I read it through the water… I am have been asked to speak to open for a chamber event. I will Clean, clean, clean in preperation. Any suggestions? “Enjoy the Ride”… Colin

  14. michelle-Reply
    October 9, 2009 at 11:37 am

    A propos of your trip to Russia:

    my mother would say: Qui trop embrasse mal etreint !!!

    you kiss so much, you cannot hug… !!!

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