Idealism, as "noble-mindedness," is the belief that we should always strive for our highest ideals. Sometimes, though, idealism is a sort of incurable optimism.

It's one thing if you always pursue high-minded goals and right conduct — one definition of idealism. Just be careful to not get so caught up that you fail to see things as they really are — you don't want to go through life "wearing rose-colored glasses" — yet another definition of idealism. In philosophy, idealism is the theory that ideas are the only reality.

Definitions of idealism
  1. noun
    elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued
    synonyms: high-mindedness, noble-mindedness
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    type of:
    grandeur, magnanimousness, nobility, nobleness
    the quality of elevation of mind and exaltation of character or ideals or conduct
  2. noun
    impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are
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    impractical romantic ideals and attitudes
    knight errantry, quixotism
    quixotic (romantic and impractical) behavior
    type of:
    concerned with theoretical possibilities rather than actual use
  3. noun
    (philosophy) the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality
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    type of:
    philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory
    a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
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