Optimism: Why It Matters So Much

Success is measured by your ability to maintain enthusiasm between
failures.

– Sir Winston Churchill

People who are considered successful in life measure high on assessments of
optimistic attitudes. It would be easy to presume they are optimistic because
they are successful, but there is enough research to show that the optimism
comes first.

High scores for optimism are predictive of excellence in everything from sports
to health, elections and sales. When Metropolitan Life used an assessment of
optimistic attitude to select and hire salespeople, they saved themselves
millions of dollars in personnel selection. Those highest on the optimism scale
outsold others in their first year by 27 percent.

Max More, Ph.D., has proposed an interesting concept about two distinct kinds of
optimists: those who are “dynamic” and those who are “passive.” Dynamic
optimists have an active, empowering attitude which creates conditions for
success by focusing on possibilities and opportunities. Passive optimists simply
tell themselves that all will work out just fine. They expect other people and
organizations will solve the problems.

Most people say they are optimists in life. In fact, very few people actually
admit to and espouse a pessimistic stance. More will say they are optimistic,
but with a heavy dose of realism.

Important concepts covered in the full, 2,000-word article:

What it Means to Have an Optimistic Attitude
The Link Between Optimism and Success
Passive Optimism vs Dynamic Optimism
Realism and Optimism
Optimists and Pessimists At Work
The Basic Tools of Optimism Can be Learned
How do You Rate Yourself on Your Explanatory Style?
Measuring Optimism
Resources on Optimism

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