OPTIMISM!! A term that is familiar to everyone. So, let me ask, what is Optimism? What I think is most of the people would say Optimism is thinking positive and there is no harm in saying or thinking that but unfortunately there is a lot of difference between Optimism and Positive Thinking. If I state the dictionary meaning of Optimism it would be "an inclination to put the most favourable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome". I hope it is clear what Optimism is? The definition lucidly states the words inclination & anticipation. This means Optimism is just an inclination towards a particular event or a prediction of an event. But this is just the beginning or a zero-level thought. What after this? What an Optimist is doing to fructify his inclination or prediction? So, the answers to all the questions are POSITIVE THINKING. In short, Optimism is just taking the things positive and Positive Thinking is thinking positive.
Now, let me focus on the first part of the dictionary meaning "An inclination to put the most favourable construction upon actions and events". If I say that you are a very positive & calm guy. You never argue or fight with anyone & you are just inclined to put the most favourable construction upon your actions. Now say someone criticized you and you showed no reaction to it as you are an optimist. It's good that you were successful to avoid the skirmish. But till what time will you be able to continue doing that. Actually you are just controlling your anger and one day you will surely regurgitate all your anger upon him. But instead if you are a Positive Thinker, several questions will come into your mind as soon as you are criticized. You will think that why has this happened? Why the person did criticize me in this way? What is there in me to change? And you will change yourself so that you don't get criticized again.
Now, let's talk about the second part of the definition "to anticipate the best possible outcome". Suppose two teams are to play a cricket match where one is weaker than the other and is sure to lose. An Optimist captain of the weaker team will anticipate/predict the best possible outcome that they can win the match. But the question is HOW?? While on the other hand, if the team captain is a Positive Thinker again several questions will come into his mind. He will think that how they can win the match? What are the strategies that can make his team a winner? And he will make his team as stronger as the other team and will emerge as a much better contender than before.
So, the difference is clear, "Positive Thinking can make you an Optimist. But Optimism can never make you a Positive Thinker."
First be a Positive Thinker and then an Optimist because Optimist may impede you from becoming a Positive Thinker. There are always some questions or difficulties attached with your optimistic thoughts just identify them by deep thinking and work out the strategies to resolve them by positive thinking.
BE HAPPY AND KEEP GROWING MENTALLY!