When you understand, that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan, then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be. ~ Chuck Palahniuk

There are times when you just don’t feel like doing anything. Trust me, you’re not alone.

You know you should be doing something, but you just don’t feel like it. In fact the thought of taking action is overwhelming and stressful. Motivation is missing in action.

And this can be magnified during the holidays.

For many, the arrival of the holiday season fills them with dread. They allow past experiences to interfere with the present and it’s easy for us all to allow old expectations and demands of family and ourselves to put a damper on our happiness leaving us feeling more frazzled and out of sorts.

If you experience stress and lack of motivation, and who doesn’t, sometimes, then it’s time to bring your inner optimist to the fore. An optimistic heart is buried within everyone; optimism is a skill that even the pessimists among us can acquire.

Remember that you aren’t confined by history.  You are in absolute control of your life’s experiences, starting right now, and here’s some tips to that will come easily to your optimistic heart if you would but allow it free reign.

Find kindness in your heart

To experience a positive difference requires that you must be different. Not always easy when those around you seem stuck in the same place and are confused and maybe a little annoyed that you’re responding in an entirely new way.

If you can extend love and kindness to everyone you meet, with no agenda on your part, life will never be quite the same.

Feeling loving kindness to others not only allows them to eventually relax into a place of feeling cared for, but also develops peace in you.

As Henry James said three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind, the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Be hopeful

If you spend too much time emphasizing the negative in life there’s a good chance you won’t get too many things to be happy about.

Do yourself a favour and remember the times and places where people were wonderful and experiences magnificent and chances are great that your world will reverberate in harmony and you’ll send it spinning in an entirely new direction.

Your tomorrow is a never-ending succession of present moments and living them as you choose is a marvelous triumph.

Spend time thinking and doing things that make you smile.

Have great days

Every day is the best day.  Keep this thought in your heart.  You did the best you could do. You might not have been perfect, but you owned the day, you were in charge and if it could be better you can own that too.

Forget any mistakes, any missteps, any bungling, any failures or doubts as soon as possible.

Being optimistic is the way towards a better future, because if you don’t believe in having a better future, it’s likely that you’ll let your history interfere with your destiny.

Usually it isn’t what we have, or where we are, or what’s happened to us that makes us feel great or not, it’s how we think about it; how we feel about it.

A grand bargain

Make a bargain with yourself today to step out of the prison of yesterday. Learn from the past but stop living in it. Today’s wonderful journey towards our chosen destiny only truly begins when we’ve allowed ourselves to let go of yesterday.

Achieving greater optimism is a matter of deciding to look at the sunny side of everything; to think of and expect and work towards your best and greatest self.

Just because everyone continues to be the same doesn’t mean you have to follow them. On the contrary this is your opportunity to recognize the happiest moments of your life as you’re living them. Most of us don’t do this enough.

Begin living in joy for every golden moment, because the truth is that everything you desire now is in you; not in outer circumstances, not other people, not your past experiences.

Continually upgrade

How often have you convinced yourself that nothing changes, that you can’t conquer the circumstances of your life?  Not true. You have limitless power to make whatever changes you desire. If you desire to.

You can’t just wish things would change, or hope things will change, you have to embrace it, live it, be it.

Because life shapes the outer world to reflect the inner arrangement of our thoughts and feelings, there is no way of bringing about changes in our experiences other than by transforming ourselves.

We’re always updating our ‘stuff’ our phones, our computers, tablets…whatever, and it’s vital that we keep updating our self. A daily infusion of new concepts and ideas allows you to expand your life into an even more extraordinary one.

You have a creative imagination and an eager spirit and inherent in you is the desire to envision and live your dreams.

Whilst dreaming comes naturally to us, it’s important to remember that if we’re to bring our dreams to fruition we need to be determined and disciplined and brave enough to step out onto a new and different path.

Go ahead and dream your dreams of a happier and stress free time this holiday season, change your story to be of a life of ease and grace, of deeply nurturing and nourishing relationships, or a deeper connection to your God…whatever it is you desire…just remember it needs to be high on your list of things to deliberately focus on, if you want this dream to come true.

I’d love to hear what you’d add to this. Leave your wise words in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and adding your two cents and if you think this might help a friend, please share it.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


    • Elle

      Hi Carol nice to have you in the conversation. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and truly appreciate you taking the time to say so. 🙂

  1. Hi Elle; Thanks for reminding us about the importance of having an optimistic spirit. Just this weekend i was reminded that as positive as i am about most things there are still areas where i am that scared little kid. i had been working on a new blog post an interview with the owner of a party rental company. It is the first such post. I think they will be a welcome addition to the site. after i wrote up all the questions and answers i sent it to the gentlemen for his approval. He asked me to send it to him in a text file so he could easily edit it. I spent two days thinking the post is great and worrying what he was going to do to all my hard work. i rarely get attached to my writing, but this time i did. well today i got his reply. He changed maybe five words all together. He just wanted to be able to edit it. I know that comment love means my posts show up here. But I am still a bit uncertain so comments would be especially welcome for this one. Hope it was okay to ask Elle? thanks again and take care, max

    • Elle

      Hi Max, I always try to head over to other people’s posts as often as possible. I’m always appreciative of the comments I receive and like to be as encouraging to others. So you can be sure I’ll head over to your site. Interesting isn’t it how we can let doubts and fears creep in and take over – good job you had other more positive thoughts going on, or you could well have been in self-sabotage mode! Looking forward to seeing your final success! 🙂

  2. I love this Begin living in joy for every golden moment, yes we do need to do this and I love the picture that it conjured up for me
    Yes I also like the stepping out of the prisons that we impose on ourselves- thanks for the reminders

    • Elle

      Hi Suzie – I think it’s true for all of this that we let those golden moments pass us by with hardly any acknowledgement. You and I both know we have so much to be thankful for each and every day. 🙂

  3. Ah Elle-

    As always – so many jewels you offer in these words. Believe it or not, my daughter and I were talking today about the power of choice – and how we certainly ARE NOT defined by our histories. So many people believe that they are the victim of circumstances – not necessary at all.

    How true that all of us can gain skills on becoming more optimistic – even if we haven’t drawn the gene for ‘optimism’. I have been working on it for years – have made tremendous progress – but continue to monitor myself daily on the ‘less than positive’ voice that crops up ~ xxoo-Fran

    • Elle

      Hi Fran, it’s so interesting how often this happens in life. We have a conversation or a few thoughts or even write something and before we know it, something similar shows up in another area of our life. Love that you monitor your thinking Fran – it’s so important to our living the best life possible that we practice the principles – and that means every day. So kudos to you dear one. 🙂

  4. So true, the holiday’s can burn you out. You’re correct in saying that it’s time to bring your inner optimist out. =)

    • Elle

      Hi Elaine – funny how when we shift to being our optimistic self how much easier everything seems to be too. 🙂

  5. “If you spend too much time emphasizing the negative in life there’s a good chance you won’t get too many things to be happy about.” No truer words have been spoken! Wonderful as usual, Elle!

    • Elle

      Hi Cher, always happy to have your words of encouragement. Will you take on my cheerleader job please. Oh wait…you already do this. 🙂

  6. Elle, I should always make sure to read your posts in the morning so I can really focus on applying your suggestions throughout the day. I love the idea of looking at every day as a new day with endless possibilities. Love your posts!

    • Elle

      Hi Rae, you’ve hit the nail on the head right here…we can keep on reading and studying and nothing much happens until we practice some new ideas. 🙂

  7. I love your attitude towards life. It’s my philosophy as well. I try to live my life to the fullest and always smile. Little things in our life do really matter!

    • Elle

      Hi Agness, thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts. You are so right, little things matter a lot. 🙂

  8. Great tips here, Elle. The holidays are stressful, but following your ideas would be helpful to anyone. I make a point of keeping the holidays simple and try to just enjoy my family and friends. Making new traditions has also helped. I love your tips. We all need that extra support this time of year!

    • Elle

      Hi Cathy, keeping things simple is really the way to go. We can have so many self imposed ‘shoulds’ at this time of year, not wonder it’s a stressful time for so many. 🙂

  9. HI Elle,
    Your advice here is bang on target. The stress at this time of the year is an unnecessary baggage….being optimistic and handling it all with a dash of ‘letting go’ helps leaps and bounds.
    I grew up in a not so “optimistic” home, but have made positive thinking and stress free living my mission…..take that negative history! I make my own positive destiny everyday 🙂
    Much Love,

    • Elle

      Hi Zeenat, thanks for stopping by. I would never have guessed your upbringing was less than optimistic, you are one of the most optimistic and encouraging people out there. You done good kiddo. Love that you make your own positive destiny every day. 🙂

  10. Hello Elle! Enjoyed your article!

    Stress in life is going to happen. Intelligence is actually CHOOSING the stress. And since stress is inevitable, staying depressed is optional.

    There is a good analogy in the example below:

    A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: ”How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

    She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

    It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

    As i see it: truth is, everybody and everything is going to stress you and hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. That’s life. The sooner you’ll understand it, the faster you’ll succeed.

    • Elle

      Hi Andreas, I remember reading that analogy too – it says it all doesn’t it. You make a great point about putting the stress down as early in the evening as possible. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. 🙂

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