In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.
So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?
Optimism is an outlook in which we view the world as a positive place. In doing so, we realize that a wonderful life is worth loving. Optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational, and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us, we might feel overwhelmed and out of control, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our feelings. It is all a matter of choice whether we want to make optimism a habit of our life.
Here’s how optimists are in action and research that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:
- Optimists always expect the best, they believe that bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault. The truth is that optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world too. What differentiates them is the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.
- Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They view negative experiences in a way that can help them to learn and grow. Such people don’t get frazzled by bad situations, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. They won’t say “things will never get better,” or “If I failed once, it will happen again”. Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to a new environment, a sudden tragedy, and an unlikely turn of events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
- People respond positively to optimists. Optimists tend to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. They are less dependent on others for their happiness. They don’t find the need to control or manipulate people. They usually attract people towards them. Their optimistic point of view toward the world can be contagious and influence others around them.
- Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than others. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
- Optimists have Perseverance, which is the key to success. They just don’t give up easily, they just keep on keeping on, as they are committed to their goals. This ability leads them to unexpected discoveries and expands their knowledge, both about themselves and about the field of their endeavor. They are also known for their patience. Inching their way one step at a time closer to their goal or elusive dream.
- Optimists are healthier and live longer. Numerous studies support the belief that people with positive perspectives tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future and always expecting the worst in every situation. As having a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease, an optimist tends to age well and get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.
So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life. Why not look forward to success in all our endeavors? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else, we are bound to hit lows sometimes but we don’t have to just stay there. We can carry ourselves out of the mud and improve our chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-colored glasses and see life on the bright side?
Our thoughts not only create our reality, but they also influence the reality of those around us. Let the currents that flow through us be those of positivity and love. Choose thoughts that reflect what we want to see and experience in the world. Be the reflection of our dream life and watch it manifest before our very eyes.
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”