Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why optimism serves people well

Optimistic people tend to be more successful. Some studies have pegged 80 percent of successful entrepreneurs as optimists.

Which makes sense. Optimists don’t give up easily.

They find ways around obstacles and generally don’t take “no” for an answer.

Although pessimists keep the visionaries from going off the deep-end, people weigh themselves down if they see the problems or think they won’t succeed.

Optimism actually is healthier than pessimism. It seems to be better for the immune system. Optimists seem to age better as a result.

One reason is because they seem to have better coping mechanisms.

Optimistic people tend to be more altruistic, thinking of others rather than themselves. They also anticipate the future with relish. And, they see the humor (or the irony) in life.

They also tend to use their energy in constructive ways and brush aside—or at least put aside—stress.

Knowing—or at least viewing—adversity as temporary and realizing that it’s not personal also helps. Keeping problems from overwhelming the rest of your life keeps things in perspective.

Optomists also play to their strengths.

If you take nothing else away from this, take this:

Changing your weaknesses could take a lifetime and might only get you to middling-good.

Spending that amount of energy on your innate abilities will get you much, much further.

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