I, like many other people around the globe, have goals and dreams for my future. Similar to most people my age, I have dreams of getting my driver’s license, going to college and obtaining my dream career. None of these are unrealistic goals, but each one comes with its own unique set of challenges and potential setbacks. These challenges and setbacks are where optimism comes into play. Optimism is the key to keep you hopeful and driven in order to overcome everything life throws in the way of you achieving dreams.

To start with an analysis of just how optimism is the key to achieving your goals we should look at specific examples, starting with the easiest one, getting a driver’s license. For me, my driver’s license is the closest goal I have to achieve. The roadblock associated with this goal is failing my test. Now, this isn’t the end of the world by any means but it would be a massive ego blow and would shake my confidence significantly. For a teenager, failure is a hard thing to deal with and can make us too nervous or upset to keep trying. Now here is where optimism becomes important. By maintaining an optimistic outlook, I will be able to face retaking the test without thoughts of failure overtaking my mind. Instead, I will be focused on what all I’ll be able to do after I get my license and how amazing my newfound independence will be. That’s the thing about optimism: it won’t eliminate negative thoughts but it will help you focus on the positives while drowning the negatives out.

Having the ability to focus on the positives will be one of the most beneficial things for me during my college years starting with applications and moving through to graduation. Every student, including me, is bound to be rejected by at least one college. Even being aware of this is not going to make the day that rejection letter comes any easier. In this case, optimism will serve to make sure I don’t dwell too much on the rejection and instead focus on the other colleges that I have the opportunity to go to. While in college, optimism will help keep me focused on my end goal and not allow me to be bogged down by the occasional struggle in a class that I’m taking or the inevitable disdain for having early morning classes. Instead, I’ll have my attention focused on how proud and happy I’ll be in the long run, because I graduated from college and am able to do what I love. Having this mindset will carry over and help me in my career.

My dream is to one day become a doctor, more specifically an interventional radiologist. This career, as you can imagine, has a huge number of challenges and setbacks associated with it. First of all, I might not make it into a medical school my first or second year applying. Second, the course work for this type of career is astronomical and lasts for at least 10 years. Third, there are going to be times during my career where outcomes will look bad or things will not go according to plan. These examples are but a few that I will very likely be facing down the road. When this happens, optimism is going to be what changes the outcome. If I don’t make it into medical school the first time, optimism is going to be what gives me the ability to go back time and time again to try and get in. It will give me the belief that each time I truly do have a chance of getting in until I finally succeed. Similar to what I had mentioned when it came to college, optimism will help me look ahead to the future and keep me motivated when I am feeling defeated by all of the course work. Maintaining an optimistic outlook during the times where the outlook appears grim in this career will be the motivation that allows me to change an outcome for the better.

Optimism is not just used in one way and does not apply to just one situation. In every goal or dream you or I have there will be challenges and setbacks. This is the inevitable truth but maintaining an optimistic mindset will be the difference between overcoming these challenges or letting them defeat you. Whether it’s getting a driver’s license, going to college or obtaining your dream career, optimism is the key to achieving your dreams.