What is optimism?
We all have a vague idea that optimism is good – seeing the glass as half full and making lemonade from lemons. Optimists see success as their right. It’s there if they are willing to work for it. Many people, however, believe it’s some innate ability we are born with. Either you have it, or you don’t.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While optimism can be partially genetic (if you were raised in an optimistic family, the odds are you will have that trait), it can also be learned. Optimism is a mindset that believes in the possibility of a good outcome. Equally as important, it understands that there are hurdles along the way. Life is filled with the unexpected. No one gets everything he or she wants, and optimists don’t expect it. However, they build the type of resilience that encourages them to keep trying. Optimists are not guided by failure. There may be many rainy days, but eventually, the sun will always come out. If that glass of water gets spilled, it can always get refilled. That’s how an optimist approaches life. He or she may stumble but will always get back up.
Research has found that being optimistic will enhance your quality of living and your health when compared to pessimists. It encourages flexible thinking, creativity, and greater problem-solving capability. All of that decreases stress and ensures a healthier body. Let’s take a look at how optimists behave when compared to pessimist, because there is a significant difference.
1. Optimists know that they are responsible for their own life, with all of its ups and downs. They don’t depend on others to feel good, successful, or attractive. They are the masters of their own fate. To be clear, it is not necessary for an optimist to be overly successful or attractive. An optimist can be an unassuming person, living a simple life, and extremely content with everything he or she has. To him or her, that is success.
2. Optimists associate with other optimists. The people you associate with impact your life in many ways. It has been said that we are the sum of the five people whom we associate with the most. Optimists choose their friends wisely. Pessimists will, unfortunately, drag you down with their negative thinking. It’s almost inevitable. Some people can complain about anything – the world in general, the job, a meal at a restaurant, a movie … the list doesn’t end.
This attitude invariable rubs off on others and is best avoided if you are an optimist. And if success is your goal, know that the number one trait of successful people is positive thinking. A positive outlook is the sure way to get through hard times. While you can’t avoid everyone, it’s best to surround yourself with as much optimism as possible. Look for people who share your mindset.