When faced with a problem, optimists seek solutions and focus on the positive aspects of the situation, while pessimists tend to give up or distance themselves from the problem. Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading expert on optimism, believes that everyone is born optimistic, yet only 5% of adults remain optimistic. So what goes wrong? Some individuals may see the glass as half empty, while others may see it as half full. However, it is possible to be a mix of both.
Most people experience moments of optimism and pessimism. Ironically, things often turn out the way we feel about them. Optimistic people tend to achieve their goals, attract success naturally, and lead happier, healthier, and more energetic lives than pessimists. They are also easier to be around and inspire those around them to be positive. Optimists generally live longer and suffer from fewer and less severe diseases, which ultimately leads to a higher quality of life.
True optimism is not just about positive thinking and hoping everything will turn out alright. It is how one views the world, positively rather than negatively. Optimists face each situation, problem, and occasion with a positive attitude, always looking forward to the benefits they will derive from it. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change your thoughts and change your world.” Choosing optimism means empowering oneself to see the positive side of each challenge, helping others to see the good in life, and taking action to improve one’s own life.
Choosing to be more optimistic and positive does not mean that one won’t encounter difficult times, trauma, loss, and many challenges. However, it does mean that one will have more power on their side to help them through tough times, bounce back faster, and make better choices. To become more optimistic, individuals need to be consciously aware of their thoughts and feelings, stop negative thoughts, and turn them into positive ones. It takes effort and deliberate awareness, but it can be done.
To start, practice positive thinking and feeling. Give oneself permission to think new thoughts and feel new emotions. Take productive actions towards achieving goals and trust that things will work out. Expect the best out of life and act optimistically. Being optimistic can have a profound impact on one’s life, leading to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling existence.