Below is a blog post from John Michael Morgan.
What is optimism exactly? It’s a mental habit that can impact your life in incredible ways. You can practice and master it. Use it to help you achieve your goals. Or, you can ignore it and live a life of pessimism which lead to a life of failure and misery.
Optimism is one of the most important traits of high achievers. It’s also the most consistent trait among them. How many successful pessimists do you know? Exactly.
History is full of successful people and great leaders who mastered the habit of optimism. Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt both maintained optimism during dark times. I’m referring to the Civil War and Great Depression of course. Despite the challenges they faced each day, they maintained hope for tomorrow.
This being said, optimists are greatly misunderstood. I’ve found three common misconceptions about them I wanted to shatter…
MYTH 1. Optimists are always happy and never in a bad mood.
I wish this was the case! No one is happy all the time. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. It’s okay for you to have bad days. Optimists have their down moments, but they don’t live there. They bounce back and move forward.
MYTH 2. Optimists are lonely because most of the world are pessimists.
While it’s seemingly true that most people are pessimistic in nature, optimists are not lonely. Because likes attract likes and success attracts success. Optimists are easy to find. We aren’t hiding. Although it may seem like at times because we do avoid pessimists as they breed anxiety and worry.
MYTH 3: Optimists don’t deal with reality
Optimists don’t throw judgement to the wind and hope for the best. That’s a foolish way to live. Optimists use sound judgement to find the opportunity in a bad situation. Then they decide on a plan of action based on their judgement. Pessimists lack the courage to find victory in defeat. That’s what draws the line between the two.
Don’t focus on all the bad things that might happen or are currently happening. Instead, make a list of everything good happening now and the opportunities you have for tomorrow. At the start of each day, make a list of 3 things you’re grateful for. It’s wonderful if you have a longer list than 3 (and you do) but just get in the habit of listing out 3. Then list 3 opportunities you have right now.
These opportunities could be a business relationship that is strengthening, or a new idea that would increase customer service in your business. It doesn’t matter if the opportunity is big or small. Just write it down.
Do this daily and you start forming the habit of optimism.
Optimism may be misunderstood by some, but don’t overlook its effectiveness. There’s more to it than just “thinking positive”. If you believe that’s all there is to it, then you have some work to do.
When optimism becomes a strong habit you need not fear the future. Meet it head on. Even when a challenge arrises, you’ll be ready to overcome it.