A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Realistic optimism — that is, hopefulness and confidence about the future with an understanding of reality — enhances quality of life and longevity. Optimism requires intentional seeking of opportunity, beauty, and possibility, even in circumstances that don’t seem to hold out much hope, as in the following story:
The pessimist was sitting in a room full of toys and he did nothing but whine and cry. In contrast, the optimist was placed in a room full of horse manure and given a shovel. The optimist was happily shoveling away the manure. When asked why he was so happy, he said: “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”
by Alison Poulsen, PhD