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Are you an optimist or a pessimist? 

When it comes right down to it, it may be that the litmus test for a prosperous, happy life spins around a singular attitude of optimism. Optimism is the tendency or predisposition to believe, expect or hope that things will turn out well. It is one of the elements used to evaluate our emotional intelligence quotient. Being optimistic is an all-around useful mannerism. And the good news is that even if our first inclination is to be Negative Nancy, we can learn to teach ourselves about being optimistic. Optimistic people tend to experience more enjoyable emotions and moments than pessimists, because optimism makes our reality colourful. Even when we go through tough times and feel downhearted, we should find the reasons to be optimistic about life. If we can develop an optimistic attitude, we can take on any challenge and win the situation. We must make an effort to substitute any negative, deleterious and pessimistic thoughts with optimistic ones. Optimism has cured cancer in the world. After all, our day-to-day hair-brained problems can categorically be mended or rectified by being optimistic.

Augmented happiness is one of the abrupt positive effects of a more optimistic attitude. Optimistic people tend to experience much greater personal joy on a day-to-day basis than their pessimistic counterparts. The prospect of a longer healthier life is also a scientifically proven benefit of living with an optimistic and positive attitude. In contrast, a negative, pessimistic mentality has been shown to contribute to scores of health challenges including immune disorders, cancer, and heart problems. All other factors being equal, a happier life means a healthier life.

Optimism is the expectation that good things will come our way and that we have the proficiency to control the direction of our life. There are loads of common catchphrases that capture the essence of optimism: "seeing the glass as half full," "making lemonade out of lemons," "every cloud has a silver lining." Each of these phrases apprehends the belief that optimism can transmute a negative situation into something positive, and that optimism helps guide people to look for meaning in times of adversity or hardship. Life is unpredictable and volatile, demanding and full of pressgangs which certainly play a big role in our ability to look at things from either a positive or negative lens. We should develop the ability to look at the up side of life and maintain a positive attitude even in the worst of times which can make the ultimate difference in leading a happy life as well as a successful career.

As Dr.Max More said “optimism is an empowering, constructive attitude that creates conditions for success by focusing and acting on possibilities and opportunities.” This is why optimists tend to recoup faster from difficulties. When something bad happens to optimists, they view the circumstance as temporary rather than permanent; they see the situation as influencing a specific part of their life, rather than pervading all areas. An optimistic attitude will get us farther along in life. It makes our aura or characteristic pleasanter and joyful. A pessimistic attitude will lower our vibration. People will notice our bad attitude and stay away from us. Optimists look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Being optimistic is always good. Some people are more optimistic by nature, but optimism is not a fixed attribute.  It is a choice we have control over. True optimists know bad things happen; they experience tragedy just like everyone else. But what separates optimists from their pessimistic brothers and sisters is how they move forward in their thinking and actions relative to those events.

The Hidden Asset

Optimism is an important ingredient of achievement, and is especially important in times of chaos, turmoil, change and turbulence. Those who have an optimistic outlook will roll with the punches, will be more preventative and persistent and will not abort hope. Optimism is a trait that should become more common, judging by Winston Churchill’s famous quote that “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  Optimism is an attitude that can be learned and practiced. Here are some strategies we can consider in our journey to becoming more optimistic or in helping someone else who suffers from pessimism:

Manage or ignore what you cannot change. 

This is a tough one, and harkens back to the maxim that we should try and change what can be changed, but accept that which we cannot alter - since railing or criticising against factors outside of our control can certainly erode a positive outlook. When faced with setbacks, we have to identify what we can change and judiciously try to find ways to do something about it. We should always remember the golden words of Benjamin Franklin: "While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us."

Realise that the past does not equal the future.

Just because we have experienced pain or disappointment in the past it does not mean that what starts badly will end badly. We should not make a bad start turn into a self-fulfilling prediction for a bad ending. Taking a permanent view of calamity or misfortune can erase strength because it encourages helplessness and a sense of defeat. Replacing problem-focused thinking with solution-focused thinking immediately gives us a sense of forward movement, possibility, and hope — the foundations of optimism. The solution to every problem is in the opportunity it brings with itself, but at times we are so stressed with the problem that we stop looking for solutions. This is a natural rule that past failure brings depression and tension in our mind. We should try our best to learn from the past failure not to regret or remorse. This is because it can make us more depressed and pessimist about our present goal and target. So, when we are thinking to be an optimistic, we should not regret about our past failure.

Curtail obstacles to success.

One of the keys to achieving optimism is to make constant progress, and that means limiting distractions. We should figure out ways to avoid temptations or enticements in our life so we do not deplete our reserve of discipline before getting priorities done. Succeeding rather than failing keeps us optimistic.

See yourself as a reason, not an effect. 

We should not be product or a victim of our circumstances. We should utilise our past negative experiences to build character and make better decisions. Life encompasses taking voluminous risks every day, and not all of them will end affirmatively. But the flip side is that some actions will lead to good results, and it is generally better to have a mixed bag than to have nothing at all. It is easy to compare ourselves to others, becoming envious of what we do not have. Instead, we should always appreciate the little and big things in life we have instead of focusing too much on what we do not have. This will help frame a better attitude and take our mind off of the negatives.

Hang Out with Optimistic People. 

We should use the power of peer influence to feed our sense of optimism. The positive attitude of the people around us can be a powerful force for good. We must seek out the company of those with a sunny disposition. As someone rightly said, “If you want to soar with the eagles, you have to stop hanging out with the ducks.” We should focus on the people and events that bring us joy or a sense of satisfaction. Optimism is a learned habit, and it is positively contagious. We should surround ourselves with people who could infect us with positivity.

Find the opportunity in every difficulty.

Optimism does not mean ignoring the problem entirely; it means understanding that setbacks are inevitable, often temporary, and that we have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges we face.  It is important to remain hopeful and positive about a brighter future.  Optimism will inspire a sense of hopefulness and the confidence that is required to take full advantage of the opportunities that do exist. The most beautiful rainbows come from the sunlight after a very dark storm. We should never use negative and frustrating words and phrases like “it is impossible,” “I cannot,” “it is so hard” and so forth. We must always take anything positively and easily to be optimistic in our life. 

As a final point, optimism is the hidden key to our personal and business success. Optimists possess a clear vision of an exciting life, confidently work on goals to achieve their vision, and take self-responsibility. In contrast, pessimists have no clear vision of a fantastic life, and they love to complain, blame, and moan. Pessimism is the main barrier to be great in life. It shuts down all the possible windows of success in life. Pessimism brings depression and loneliness and opens the door of failure in life. Optimism is an important part of overall wellness and is one of the greatest things that we can do for our emotional and spiritual health. Happiness is a choice and so is optimism. With the tanked economy, deflated housing market and record unemployment, pessimism is much more prevalent these days than optimism. Unfortunately, pessimism breeds more pessimism. The downward spiral of negative thinking does not make it easy to adopt an optimistic viewpoint. This does not mean, however, that cultivating optimism is impossible. Learning how to think optimistically can, and should be a practice that we adopt. Being optimistic is an important tool in reaching all of our goals. We know that everything good and bad has a silver lining in it somewhere. We recognize that today is another step towards tomorrow, and we realize that all things are connected in some way or another. We dwell on the beauty of life, the serenity of the stars, and the love of creation. Being optimistic is appreciating in our heart that today is the best day ever…..!

SHIVANAND PANDIT,

Financial Analyst and Adviser,

MARGAO-GOA-INDIA.  

EMAIL: panditgoa@gmail.com

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