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How Optimism Can Change Your Life

Posted By: Randy GageSeptember 14, 2009

A couple years ago, John Fogg sent me a book titled “Hard Optimism” for a present.  It offers some interesting insights into the topic.   And provides some scientific evidence to support many things about optimism that you make 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.

So how are you on this?  Are you more optimistic or pessimistic? If you don’t come down on the optimistic side – heavily – here is what you should know:

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.   And your negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies, and repeat the cycle over and over.

So how optimistic are you?

-RG

17 comments on “How Optimism Can Change Your Life”

  1. Looking for a cloud’s silver lining was on my list of to do's once. It is a great place to start. When it rains you either believe it helps the flowers grow or worry about the mud slides it will cause. It is just rain. I spent a number of years 'away' and by design we always returned during a rain storm. I have to admit when it rains now I am always in a great mood. Pavlov’s dog to the rescue. I moved to where it rains almost every day! The attitudes we practice are habit forming and difficult to change. The people I know who have serious negative issues won't stay positive long enough or with enough others of a positive outlook to change their trajectory. Being 'right' is who we all are. Richard Bach wrote, "Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.' If you are going to argue, argue for the positive. If that is out of reach, hunt for silver linings. They are there.

  2. I think the biggest mistake we all make in trying to be "more positive" is not monitoring the people and things we surround ourselves with.

    Nothing will have a greater impact on our outlook on life.

  3. I chose to be an optimist. It's ineffective to run businesses and achieve goals being a pessimist. I do believe in my goals and my way 🙂
    The challenge is to "stay tuned" in positive thinking, not just as a positive shell (to look positive), but the positive core (to FEEL myself positive).
    I've read once that one of the way of training optimism and positive thinking is a diary. What did I feel today? What freaked me out? And why? Why did I choose this reaction?
    Maybe it works 🙂

  4. Thank you for this sugggestion! I once was very optimistic until I surrounded myself with a very negative person. I try constantly to speak positive things even after they speak the negative, but there isn't anything I can do to change their mind. Now, I've found that I'm very pessimistic.

    I will try the diary thing and see how that helps. They're really a good person, but I feel them pulling my motivation and energy down. How can I help them, so I can help myself? Or, is it just me and not them at all???

  5. Yes, I am very optimistic! And yes, it does make a huge difference in my life. I am always looking for new solutions instead of giving up! I know that it's all going to work out - it always does!

    In fact, one of my favorite sayings that I have at the end of my emails is: "An optimist is the human personification of spring." ~ Susan J. Bissonette

    It is so refreshing to be optimistic & to be around optimistic people - life is so much better! And yes, it matters the most when we are facing challenges...

    Here's a thought I had the other day: "The impossible is just an illusion... It's all what we believe to be possible that makes something come true or not."

    You have said it very well in your short, concise, very efficient blog! Thanks Randy! You're awesome!

    Love & Abundance,

    Bela

  6. I had another shift toward optimism this weekend... I realized that because I took 22 months to reach my first promotion level in my MLM company, that when I coach distributors in my organization they KNOW I'm NOT going to give them the denigrating speech of "you should be moving faster." The people I am coaching ARE promoting much faster than I did, and I love it!!!

    I took the uncomfortable statistic of the accomplishment and now market it as an asset.

  7. I'm a firm believer in being optimistic. In fact, I could write a book on the number of times serendipity has dropped into my life which made the 'impossible' seem 'probable', simply by believing firmly that I could attain it.

  8. to sum it up brilliantly, there is no use being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway. Not original, but a perfect summary in my opinion!

  9. OMG, you guys are gonna LOVE my post...

    I imagine that EVERYONE would call themselves an optimist, and on this blog especially, but I would say that I'm an optimist MOST of the time, and a pessimist at other times.

    If you can't figure out when pessimism works, I don't think you're being realistic.

    And not the "Your business won't work" realistic, but "Look both ways before you cross the street" realistic. Yes, cautious, and it comes from a pessimistic viewpoint- a HELPFUL pessimistic viewpoint.

    I'll bet you guys LOVE this post!

  10. Your negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies, and repeat the cycle over and over.
    Probably this is one of my new created habits that I enjoy the most.Redirecting my thoughts and the pictures I hold on the screen on my Mind Love it
    LorenaHeletea

  11. I was once a pessimist. Nothing in my life was going well. Everything I did was a disaster. Things always went against me.

    NOTHING, ALWAYS, EVERYTHING, EVERYONE, CAN'T soul destroying words and a sign of a pessismist.

    5 years ago I decided life sucked, and I NEEDED to change. I attended some workshops. Applied myself, looked at it as 'well if nothing else comes of my efforts, I have improved myself" (job hunting at the time)

    Went to school again, in a field of MY CHOICE. Graduated, got a great job, saved money, got a car I can rely on, dreamt of getting a sailboat (childhood dream), got it for my last birthday. Now looking at a car I have dreamt about since 1973 . Quite possibly picking it up this weekend.

    Perspective can change everything. Instead of seeing what would go wrong (even with a degree I probably won't get a job), to doesn't matter, I am getting a degree for myself.

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  • 17 comments on “How Optimism Can Change Your Life”

    1. Looking for a cloud’s silver lining was on my list of to do's once. It is a great place to start. When it rains you either believe it helps the flowers grow or worry about the mud slides it will cause. It is just rain. I spent a number of years 'away' and by design we always returned during a rain storm. I have to admit when it rains now I am always in a great mood. Pavlov’s dog to the rescue. I moved to where it rains almost every day! The attitudes we practice are habit forming and difficult to change. The people I know who have serious negative issues won't stay positive long enough or with enough others of a positive outlook to change their trajectory. Being 'right' is who we all are. Richard Bach wrote, "Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.' If you are going to argue, argue for the positive. If that is out of reach, hunt for silver linings. They are there.

    2. I think the biggest mistake we all make in trying to be "more positive" is not monitoring the people and things we surround ourselves with.

      Nothing will have a greater impact on our outlook on life.

    3. I chose to be an optimist. It's ineffective to run businesses and achieve goals being a pessimist. I do believe in my goals and my way 🙂
      The challenge is to "stay tuned" in positive thinking, not just as a positive shell (to look positive), but the positive core (to FEEL myself positive).
      I've read once that one of the way of training optimism and positive thinking is a diary. What did I feel today? What freaked me out? And why? Why did I choose this reaction?
      Maybe it works 🙂

    4. Thank you for this sugggestion! I once was very optimistic until I surrounded myself with a very negative person. I try constantly to speak positive things even after they speak the negative, but there isn't anything I can do to change their mind. Now, I've found that I'm very pessimistic.

      I will try the diary thing and see how that helps. They're really a good person, but I feel them pulling my motivation and energy down. How can I help them, so I can help myself? Or, is it just me and not them at all???

    5. Yes, I am very optimistic! And yes, it does make a huge difference in my life. I am always looking for new solutions instead of giving up! I know that it's all going to work out - it always does!

      In fact, one of my favorite sayings that I have at the end of my emails is: "An optimist is the human personification of spring." ~ Susan J. Bissonette

      It is so refreshing to be optimistic & to be around optimistic people - life is so much better! And yes, it matters the most when we are facing challenges...

      Here's a thought I had the other day: "The impossible is just an illusion... It's all what we believe to be possible that makes something come true or not."

      You have said it very well in your short, concise, very efficient blog! Thanks Randy! You're awesome!

      Love & Abundance,

      Bela

    6. I had another shift toward optimism this weekend... I realized that because I took 22 months to reach my first promotion level in my MLM company, that when I coach distributors in my organization they KNOW I'm NOT going to give them the denigrating speech of "you should be moving faster." The people I am coaching ARE promoting much faster than I did, and I love it!!!

      I took the uncomfortable statistic of the accomplishment and now market it as an asset.

    7. I'm a firm believer in being optimistic. In fact, I could write a book on the number of times serendipity has dropped into my life which made the 'impossible' seem 'probable', simply by believing firmly that I could attain it.

    8. to sum it up brilliantly, there is no use being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway. Not original, but a perfect summary in my opinion!

    9. OMG, you guys are gonna LOVE my post...

      I imagine that EVERYONE would call themselves an optimist, and on this blog especially, but I would say that I'm an optimist MOST of the time, and a pessimist at other times.

      If you can't figure out when pessimism works, I don't think you're being realistic.

      And not the "Your business won't work" realistic, but "Look both ways before you cross the street" realistic. Yes, cautious, and it comes from a pessimistic viewpoint- a HELPFUL pessimistic viewpoint.

      I'll bet you guys LOVE this post!

    10. Your negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies, and repeat the cycle over and over.
      Probably this is one of my new created habits that I enjoy the most.Redirecting my thoughts and the pictures I hold on the screen on my Mind Love it
      LorenaHeletea

    11. I was once a pessimist. Nothing in my life was going well. Everything I did was a disaster. Things always went against me.

      NOTHING, ALWAYS, EVERYTHING, EVERYONE, CAN'T soul destroying words and a sign of a pessismist.

      5 years ago I decided life sucked, and I NEEDED to change. I attended some workshops. Applied myself, looked at it as 'well if nothing else comes of my efforts, I have improved myself" (job hunting at the time)

      Went to school again, in a field of MY CHOICE. Graduated, got a great job, saved money, got a car I can rely on, dreamt of getting a sailboat (childhood dream), got it for my last birthday. Now looking at a car I have dreamt about since 1973 . Quite possibly picking it up this weekend.

      Perspective can change everything. Instead of seeing what would go wrong (even with a degree I probably won't get a job), to doesn't matter, I am getting a degree for myself.

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