Random Thoughts on Optimism

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.

Optimism is one of the hallmarks of self confident people.  The June 2007 issue of Executive Leadership had an interesting piece on optimism: Cultivating the Power of Hope.

"Hope really does propel us toward our goals.  In a crisis, optimists see the problem as temporary.  They don’t blame themselves, and they don’t feel doomed.  Here are a few facts about optimism.

  • 75% of Americans consider themselves to be optimists.
  • 99% of workers prefer a positive job environment.
  • 90% of people say they are more productive around positive people.
  • Customers are turned off by negative employees.
  • Gratitude and forgiveness lift people’s spirits help them become more optimistic.
  • The one profession where pessimists do better than optimists is law."  (Maybe that explains all those lawyer jokes.)

Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania says “people who don’t think they can make positive changes develop a condition call learned helplessness.  Taken to extremes, the condition can lead to despair and depression.”

Optimism, like most good qualities needs to be cultivated.  Here are some common sense ideas for becoming more optimistic:

  • Focus on what you can do and can control.
  • Understand and tap into your natural strengths.
  • Mentally rehearse how you’ll handle problems.
  • Accentuate what works.
  • Focus on possibilities, rather than limits.

The Executive Leadership article ends with a little bit of humor:

  • “There is no sense is being pessimistic.  It won’t work anyway.”

Now that’s some common sense.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: www.CommonSenseGuy.com for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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