There are many characteristics that enliven our general outlook on life. Being optimistic is definitely one of the most important ones. It is that wonderful attitude to see the bright side of things and focus only on the positive. It is easier said than done. To be optimistic, regardless of the outcome of the situation is a tough task. We need to have the presence of mind and resilience to withstand the onslaught of life's whims and fancies and perpetually exude a positive vibe. Nevertheless, being optimistic is a profound philosophy, which catapults one to a state of general well being.

Mexico is said to be a very spiritual and optimistic place, despite the hardships faced by the people there. The reason being their staunch belief in the philosophy "por algo pasan las cosas", which translates as "everything happens for a reason". Good or bad, it is all for the good. The people there see all life events as divinely ordained, no matter how difficult or painful they may appear on the surface. Martin Seligman, who is often referred to as the father of positive psychology, says that "If we are a pessimist who thinks that bad things when they happen remain for ever and continue to undermine whatever that we do, then we are 8 times likely to get depressed, less likely to succeed in work and personal relationships and more prone to lead an illness-filled life". Even research has shown that optimistic cancer patients have better prognosis and outcome than pessimistic patients. We never realize the catastrophic things that we say to ourselves when things go wrong. Being optimistic is to break these shackles and embrace life with all its inequities.

Optimism is not about shirking responsibilities. It does not mean that we can close our eyes to something which is negative or pretend that everything is right when it is otherwise. It is the ability to realistically evaluate any event and find out all the causal factors, even to the extent things which are beyond our control. Nelson Mandela was a supremely self confident and an optimist. He consciously believed that he could heal the wounds of oppression and unite a country through tolerance. And he did. Leaders like Mandela and Gandhi are the true embodiments of Helen Keller's famous quote on optimism and self confidence that "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence". Great leaders have the ability to paint an optimistic and attainable view of the future by making the people around to realize "how things are done here" and helping them to see "how things can be done in a better way".

No one can go back and start a new beginning. But anyone can start today and make a new ending.

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