We Have Seen the Future. And it was green with a hint of neurosis. Part 2 — Being an Optimist
By TRISOFT team
For a company, having the discipline to diagnose and solve all sorts of technical and administrative issues that occur at certain points in time is just as crucial as figure out the other, more subtle triggers that drive people to give the very best of what they have to offer. In our experience it’s often not knowledge or ambition, but the optimism that makes one stronger and more resilient. Optimism has been proved to help boost productivity, enhance employee morale, overcome conflicts and have a positive impact overall. Looking back on our personal and business experiences, there is indeed a lot to be gained from cultivating an optimistic outlook on life.
Attitude is a choice. Choose optimism.
No matter how lucky or spoiled by circumstance you are, there will always be difficult times as well. And it’s not always easy to see the glass half full, although having a positive attitude can help us push through rough patches.
There are many areas in our life that optimism can have a good impact on. Take leadership, for example. Great leaders have this special gift to convince people that success is just a step away. And it’s for everyone to enjoy. Thus, the great leaders can paint the future in such a bright and attainable way that their followers can only share their enthusiasm and drive.
So, if you look at it closely, optimism is an important asset on the way to achieving what you are set out to. In times of change and difficulties, those who can keep an optimistic attitude will roll with the punches and never give up.
Now, you’re probably wondering where optimism comes from. If it’s something you are born with or rather something you learn. Well, there are some who have optimism in their blood. And then again, there are many who have practiced and learned optimism along the way, as a means of improving their professional and personal lives.
So here are a few strategies you can adopt to become more optimistic and to be able to see the silver lining, even in the dark face of adversity:
1. Celebrate your strengths
One key step in becoming an optimist is to put your weaknesses at the back of your mind (to be worked on, whenever possible) and play on your strengths as much as possible. An optimist will not whine about not having what it takes or about the odds being against him. Optimists will not count on others to reinforce what they think is good about themselves, but they will take matters into their own hands. Optimists have the clarity and openness to analyse both their qualities and their flaws, and sort through them, while always focusing on what they do well.
2. See failure as a new start
For an optimist, failure is never the end of the road, but a new beginning. To become an optimist you need to refrain from putting your fears of failure before anything else and start learning from every opportunity that you get.
Keep in mind that when things run smoothly, few impressive things happen, while on the other side, when we bump into difficulties and our world is shaken to its very core, that’s when we are challenged and required to grow. That’s when we have to see things with a different pair of glasses and start over again. Optimism allows us to learn from our mistakes, pick up the pieces and move on to something even better. It was not just once in history that failure gave birth to a great idea.
3. Stay healthy
Dwelling on negativity isn’t healthy. Everybody knows positive people are healthier than negative ones. The statistics linking optimism to better health are overwhelming. A study conducted in the US, at the University of Illinois, on over 5,000 adults, proved that those who were more optimistic were 76% more likely to have health scores in an ideal range. They had significantly better blood sugar and cholesterol levels, exercised more, had healthier mass indexes and smoked less.
There is also evidence that the immune system of optimistic people is stronger than in the case of pessimists. So focusing on the positive instead of the negative clearly improves mental well-being, which motivates individuals to take better care of the physical health as well.
4. Cultivate spirituality
Optimists are more bound to nurture their spiritual and emotional well being than pessimists. Some are motivated by reading all sorts of inspirational materials or quotations, others like to find out about people who are successful and their ways of doing it.
In a way, being confident and relaxed in your job gives you the space and time to turn to alternative, somewhat more meaningful ways of investing your energy. This may be different for each person, but it’s something worth exploring.
5. Spread good vibes
Talking about energy, the good vibes you spread around when you are an optimist are beneficial not only to you, but for the others too. As you know, optimism is contagious. Optimism is inspirational.
Attitude is everything. Leaders who are optimistic motivate and engage their teams better than those who aren’t, and of course, a positive team will be more driven to accomplish goals and work together to move things forward.
A few words on pessimism
But it wouldn’t be fair if we left the topic half debated, now would it? Yeah..there are also some benefits to pessimism. At least in theory, pessimists tend to be more realistic and accurate about risks and dangers. Having a little pessimism in us isn’t all that bad, provided it is used to evaluate situations properly and avoid serious negative consequences.
However, if we compare it to the positive effects of being optimistic — fighting depression, aiding in professional, academic and sports achievement, and boosting mental and physical health — pessimism is definitely outweighed.
Optimism — the Hidden Asset
So which is better after all? It’s not surprising to discover that balance wins yet another fight. The key, we believe, is flexible optimism. The notion was introduced by Martin Seligman, a promoter for the field of positive psychology. Flexible optimism basically refers to having the skills and wisdom to assess circumstances and identify those that require a pessimistic outlook and those that call for optimism.
And whenever you are facing setbacks and challenges, keep your cool, roll your sleeves up, smile and try to find clever ways to rise above the situation. Maybe Benjamin Franklin’s words will be an inspiration for you to find optimism — the hidden asset: “While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”
The best choice
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. (Winston Churchill)
Well, being an optimist obviously doesn’t mean seeing butterflies and rainbows all over the place. Sometimes things are bound to go badly, but you know what… that is perfectly fine! Optimism won’t keep us shielded from failure or mishaps, but will instead help us spot new opportunities, learn from all of them and keep moving on, in a healthy way, no matter what.
We, at TRISOFT, had our share of good and bad experiences. And that is precisely why we strongly believe there is no better alternative to optimism, because in life, movement and growth are essential, and staying positive and focused is the best way we found so far to achieve them.