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Optimism is assuming the best outcome is possible. Pessimism assumes the worst outcome is inevitable. These two different types of people view life entirely differently. However, there is little doubt that optimists are happier, healthier, and generally more successful in all aspects of their lives. A little optimism goes a long way.
Many people believe that one’s past determines one’s level of optimism or pessimism. To a certain extent, that is true. Children raised to think positively are far more likely to remain optimists than children raised with negativism. However, as adults, we always have choices. Whether we spend our time making lemonade out of lemons or complain about the shortage of lemons is always choice. While optimists see possibilities, pessimists see problems.
Pessimism is a mindset that we can change. This will happen when we want more out of life and when we believe we can achieve it. While negative thoughts keep us focused on roadblocks and reasons not to act, optimism and positive thinking open our mind to new opportunities. It fills us with the belief that life can provide us with more. Optimists don’t expect guarantees, but they are willing to risk roadblocks and failure for the chance at success. They see every reason why they should try for happiness.
It is this belief and mindset that determines the quality of their lives, not their ability, luck, or fate.
Optimists never see themselves as victims of circumstances. They understand things can go wrong at any time, but they also know how many good opportunities are possible. So, they learn to deal with obstacles to reach their goals and dreams. For optimists, obstacles are lessons to be learned on the road to success.
Optimists feel in control of their lives, while pessimist are certain that life controls them.
Everyone can become more optimistic, happier, and more successful. All you have to do is expect more out of life and realize that more is possible. Expectations have a way of being self-fulfilling. Those who view the glass as half-full have an excellent chance of enjoying a life of abundance because that is their expectation of life. Pessimists who see the glass as half-empty may spend a lifetime suffering from thirst.
This book attempts to explain the mindset and benefits of optimism, and how to increase positive thinking for a better life. Regardless of your circumstances, you can make positive changes that lead to greater success. The way you think determines how you act. And your actions determine whether you are guided by optimism or negativism.
Chapter 1 - 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.