Free Character Writing Prompts #36:
Drink your half full glass of character writing prompts on the subject of optimists. Unsurprisingly, I'm happy to consider myself one of the optimists, though at times it seems like our numbers are dwindling. Obviously, many of the other 990 characters in this book could be considered optimistic along with their other traits, but this section is to especially single out those who could be most defined as optimists. True optimists are able to weather almost any storm, whether it be a car accident, a bug infestation or an incorrect drink order at your local coffee shop. Optimists can still have a down day every so often, but for the most part, by the time they wake up in the morning, they can still put a smile on their faces.
Free Character Writing Prompts #36: Optimists
1. He wasn't just the guy who got your coffee in the morning, he was the smiling and buoyant barista who brightened your day whenever he was working. You'd only talked to him a handful of times and he seemed like quite the anomaly. Not only was he naturally a happy fellow, but he was also completely caffeine-free despite working at the shop. You heard that on the side of his coffee trade he was a musician, a writer and a host of other things, none of which had brought him much success, but he sure seemed to love having them as a part of his life. How did he come upon such a positive attitude?
2. The man had lost his job, had several mouths to feed and hardly seemed to have a thing going for him at all and yet here he was smiling and hosting a neighborhood barbecue. Ever since you'd moved into the area, he was nothing but kind to you and you were frequently amazed at his positive attitude. Now that you knew the whole story though, you were completely blown away. Since he'd lost his job, he'd been working several part time jobs that accumulated over 80 hours a week between them. And even that work didn't match his previous salary. He still felt blessed, however, to have a loving family and to have them to come home to at the end of the day. Will his positive attitude be able to get him back into the working world?
3. In a job notorious for dealing with negativity and anger, the customer support line for a power company, she was the perkiest by far. While those at the company were trained to talk with a smile, she did it naturally without even giving it a second thought. She brought treats to work nearly every day and she was upbeat even when experiencing absolutely livid calls from the "powerless." She had the ability to cheer up even the most frustrated customers, which she attributed to her mother teaching her how to cheer up her father after a tough day. What kind of satisfaction does she get from cheering up her callers and why?
4. Why would she need luck, she wondered, she was having an amazing day. She was out volunteering for the Salvation Army by ringing the bell and collecting donations outside of a supermarket. This beat her usual job of working for the man and even though it was cold, she was soliciting for people who really needed help. She didn't mind if someone didn't donate, because 9 times out of 10, she wouldn't have, but it lifted her spirits to new heights when anyone put money into the red canister. Her smile was so wide and natural that people couldn't help but stop and marvel at her positivity as they emptied their wallets. What would she do as a full-time job if she had a choice and money was no object?
5. He wasn't smart but he sure was kind. In a world where many believed sarcasm to be the height of intelligence, he didn't understand a lick of it. He was blissfully ignorant and was just happy to be a part of his favorite football team. He took tickets for the team and did some basic grounds keeping work and considered himself an important cog in the wheel of the organization. He felt grateful even when the team would go through a rough losing patch, because he was doing what he loved. His family had always given him a rough time for being dull in a family of sharp wits, but his second family with the team treated him with respect he never knew he deserved. What is a typical day like for this simple and special man?
6. His parents were grumpy, mean and unscrupulous. Perhaps this is why he went in the completely opposite direction. He wasn't the biggest kid and there was nothing fashionable about him, which caused him to get made fun of. Only he didn't react like the other kids and kept a smile on his face throughout. The bullies gave up and ended up becoming his friend, because he just seemed like such a friendly kid. He was wise for a pre-teen and would say things like, "Life is too short to be angry, right?" He would even perk up his teachers, who felt that he was a joy to have in class. Will his teenage years effect his attitude or will he be able to maintain his upbeat personality as he grows up?
7. They say you need to be pretty cutthroat to make it in the business world. Well then how come she was the completely opposite? She was gentle with everything from puppies to people and every customer who came into contact with her felt utterly taken care of. She could take criticism and she could make her bosses and peers feel good even when they were reprimanding her. She made them all want to be better people like her. Her bosses wanted to promote her in an effort to spread her positive vibe to as many as possible, sending her touring around the country in a motivational capacity. What allowed her to be so positive in her career life?
8. If it's smart to be wary and pessimistic, she must have been smarter than the person who came up with that rule. After passing all of her high school, college and graduate school examinations with perfect scores, literally perfect, she went onto life in consulting. Sure, she moved fast and worked long hours, but you would never hear her looking down on her life in any way. She even had the word gratitude tattooed onto her arm. After saving up well over a million dollars from her high paying job, she founded a charitable organization and dedicated the rest of her life to helping people. How was this brilliant woman able to stay positive when many around her had close to the opposite attitude?
9. He was always a groomsman, never a groom, despite several long term relationships. Even though he was completely the "nice guy you would marry," it was rare that he found a girl who wanted to settle down. In his youth, he used to get upset whenever he didn't have a person to share his life with. Nowadays, he had learned become happy from the inside out, which off-put many of the acerbic women he dated. They loved his kindness but wished he had a dark side or something. He had absolutely no skeletons in his closet and was able to diffuse every fight that would come his way. Even though he's obviously not picky, what would be the qualities of his dream woman and why?
10. She used to be irritated at everything about the world, including herself, as she was overweight and unattractive. When she discovered how a vegan, gluten-free diet made her feel, she realized that meat and gluten must have been messing with her for her entire life. After a month, she lost 10 pounds and a whole lot of attitude. Each month came more weight and additional happiness. She couldn't believe that something as simple as a type of food was affecting who she was. Her co-workers noticed an extreme improvement in her productivity and her personality and she earned two promotions the year after she began the diet. Describe the differences between an average day for her before the diet and after it.
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Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.
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