Cultivating Optimism

Attitude is important. A good attitude does not guarantee the projects we undertake will be successful. However, if we set out to accomplish something harboring a negative attitude about it, our performance will probably be less than optimal.

Some people seem to possess an optimistic outlook and some do not. Having a naturally upbeat view on life and the projects we undertake is truly a gift. Having a positive mental attitude can work as a powerful impetus to positive performance. Yet, what do we do if we do not seem to have a naturally positive outlook?

No matter how tough our lives might have been up to this point in time, we all have had moments of triumph – no matter how small. If we want to develop optimistic outlooks we must look to those moments of triumph and constantly remind ourselves of the times that we succeeded in our undertakings.

Perhaps we went to the market and negotiated a better price on some vegetables. We might think this is trivial. We might downplay its importance. However, the ability to communicate, persuade and negotiate are important skills in life. And, if we can negotiate the price of basic goods in the market, there is every reason to believe we can become skilled at communicating and negotiating in business. That is a reason to be optimistic.

Some people might not think that negotiating the price of vegetables stands out as a moment to be added to our list of personal accomplishments. I would disagree. In reality, those of us who do not tend to be positive should take stock of every positive thing we do, and make a list of all of our accomplishments, no matter how small.

Armed with our list of accomplishments, we can review them daily and use them as a source of personal inspiration to fuel optimism for the future. We can say to ourselves, “If I could do that, I could do this,” when it comes to an undertaking at hand.

Some people will have a list of accomplishments that is long. It might include getting a college degree, climbing a mountain or winning a championship in a particular sport. Certainly, those are things to be proud of. However, all of us can reflect on our accomplishments, no matter how basic they might seem to us. This is because the ability to succeed at something small and basic often suggests we have talents that can be used for greater things.

That certainly is a reason to be optimistic. We just have to train ourselves to remember that we do have bountiful abilities. Then our attitudes will improve.

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