Effects of Optimism

Optimist class dinghy: whoever started the ship building business was a great optimist

Do you want a crazy advantage over most other human beings? I am talking about something that does not sound difficult, there is no one competing for it, and it is not a finite resource anyway. Isn’t that awesome?
It is also not like athletic ability or piano skills, that you’d have to take out hours from your schedule – you don’t have to practice everyday separately to retain it. You can just integrate it into your normal day-to-day life.
It’s not necessarily easy, but it is very effective.

It’s optimism I am talking about.

Does it sound unbelievable to you that optimism alone gives people huge advantage over others? Well, then you are not familiar with the power of optimism. You should immediately start working on your optimism – it is likely to drastically improve what we loosely call “life”.
Being a pessimist means that you are prone to depression, likely to underachieve, and even suffer poor physical health.

Why is optimism so much better?

Why does this happen? Researchers have pointed at many things – such as optimism being a corrective reflex action of the mind, ability of optimist people to bounce back after a failure, investing and working harder in comparison etc.
It is just common sense – think about two kids who have joined a cricket coaching. One of them is highly optimistic about playing at the international level someday, and the other is much more “realistic” in his outlook, and would be happy if he makes into his school cricket team.

Now who do you think is more likely to make it to the school cricket team, if both of the possess equal cricketing talent?

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It is the optimist kid – because he has a great motivation in his mind, he will not see failures as a lack of talent but as circumstances out of his control, he would believe that he can make a difference through working harder, learning new skills and he would even try to get help from everywhere he can. He would approach his goals with a lot more confidence. Every time the national team delivers a heroic performance, his inspiration and determination will be doubled!

The pessimist kid thinks he would not make much much progress in professional cricket – so he has no reason to work as hard as the optimist kid. He will be daunted by the success of other people. He will under-estimate his own talent and see every failure as something coming from his own lack of talent, lack of luck, unchangeable fate or situation, etc.
Do you have any doubt as to who is going to make a better cricketer?
I shall follow up this post with another one on how one can learn to be a stronger optimist.


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