More than ten years ago I read a book titled, Hard Optimism. It offers some interesting insights into the topic. And provides some scientific evidence to support many things about optimism that you may have already believed.
For instance: Do you believe that optimists get paid more, have better health, and live longer? Well there is proof that all this is true.
Optimism creates an attitude of positive expectancy. And that expectancy attracts an amazing array of outcomes in your life. Optimism causes you to see opportunities where others only see impossibilities. You see things from a hopeful viewpoint, and as a natural result of that, you find creative solutions to most challenges you face.
A pessimist facing the same challenges simply gives up on them. Having a pessimistic view actually drains your energy for everything in life. You develop lower confidence in yourself, and have weaker problem solving and creative thinking skills. Pessimism drains joy from your daily life. And your negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophesies, causing you to repeat the cycle over and over.
Fortunately, this can be changed. You develop optimism just as you would any other skill.
Do you realize how important that can be to your life? Just like playing the piano or learning to skate, you can learn to be more optimistic. And doing that can make you healthier, happier, and richer. And that’s pretty cool.
Now we are not just talking about making positive affirmations. (Although doing that is certainly good.) The real breakthroughs come when you change how you deal with negative thoughts and emotions. Or as explained in the book, “non-negative thinking” is the essence of hard optimism. One of the things the psychological research has discovered is that optimism and pessimism are not two ends of a scale. They are actually two very separate dimensions. And the best results come when you reshape your mental activity that is pessimistic.
You actually create a disciplined, deliberate way of thinking about what happens in your everyday life. You appreciate blessings instead of dwelling on negative things. You emphasize opportunities, rather than the obstacles. You actually explain events to yourself in a way that enhances your expectations, and thus your performance.
So how are you doing on that?