Are optimists being naive? Are pessimists just realists? It turns out that both are pretty accurate. You can influence your future to a large degree with your attitude. If you expect good things to happen, you will often be correct. The same is true if you have negative expectations. There’s not much to dislike about being an optimist.
You might believe that you’re stuck with your general attitude about life, but this isn’t the case. Optimism is believed to be a skill that anyone can master. Unfortunately, being a pessimist makes it more challenging to learn new skills! But you can do it!
- Optimists are more successful. When you have high expectations for the future it’s easier to get yourself to take action consistently. The opposite is true if you expect a negative outcome on the horizon. Why try if you expect to fail? Optimists create an internal environment that allows perseverance.
- Optimists enjoy life more and have less anxiety. Obviously, optimists are going to worry less than pessimists. If you believe you have fewer reasons to worry, life is more enjoyable. Anxiety and pessimism go hand in hand. How much can you enjoy life if you’re expecting the worst to happen in the future?
- Optimists adjust to life changes more easily. Studies show that optimists manage life-changing events better than pessimists. Whether it’s a death, divorce, job loss, or any other big change, optimists do better on the average.
- Optimists are healthier. Optimists are more likely to see the doctor, brush their teeth, and follow a healthy diet. Optimists have been shown to have healthier hearts. Pessimists have higher rates of depression, cancer, and hypertension. Being an optimist might extend your lifespan.
- Optimists are better at learning skills. Several studies have demonstrated that optimists learn new skills better than pessimists. Optimists tend to overrate their skill and progress, but ultimately attain a higher level of skill than a pessimist.
- Optimists are more productive. Optimists have been shown to be more productive in work environments. A change in your attitude can make you a more valuable employee and enhance your future job prospects.
- Optimists are more likely to have a fulfilling social life. Would you rather hang around with an optimist or a pessimist? Most people instinctively avoid negative people. You might find your dating life and social life get a boost if you become more optimistic.
- Optimists have more expansive lives. Optimists are more open to new experiences and take more risks. Pessimists are just the opposite. They isolate themselves from perceived threats and likelihood of failure. Optimists experience more in life.
- Optimists make better leaders. They tend to be more inspiring, see the big picture through the chaos, and are also more likely to be entrepreneurs. The most successful leaders have largely been optimists. No one seems to want to follow a pessimist to a negative future. Go figure.
There are few, if any, advantages to being a pessimist. You’re likely to have a healthier, happier, and more successful life if you’re optimistic.
It is possible to become an optimist, even if you currently hold a very pessimistic view of life.
Notice your negative thoughts and immediately challenge them and change them. Intentionally think positive thoughts. Keep your mind in the present as much as possible. Avoid spending too much time thinking about the future or reliving the past. Finally, search for new explanations for any events that seem negative to you.
With practice, you can become the most optimistic person you know. You might become the healthiest, happiest, and most popular, too!