Optimism is the belief that this world is the best possible world. Optimists are inclined to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.
Successful people claim that their optimism has steered their paths to ultimate fame and fortune. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “Be an optimist at all times” since we all want to be physically and mentally healthy. According to Tracy:
“The true measure of ‘mental fitness’ is how optimistic you are about yourself and your life.”
Other great motivators are pitching from the same mound. Optimists choose to look at the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Although this statement may sound trite and overused, it is actually quite profound. A mentality of scarcity brings far less personal satisfaction than the firm conviction that your world is full of abundance.
Developing a winning attitude isn’t as hard as you might think. In fact, it can be done in five easy steps:
- See solutions, not problems.
It isn’t even trendy to call problems what they truly are. Instead, they are now called “challenges” and “obstacles” – which is fine but they all boil down to situations perceived as troublesome. Whatever you call life’s hurdles, spend your time and energy on how to leap over, crawl under or go around these barriers rather than spend hours and hours fretting without evolving toward some resolution.
Ask yourself, “What is the one thing I can do differently that could make this situation better?” to divert useless nervous energy into a productive path. This will build confidence and increase the odds of a successful outcome.
Start paying attention to your “monkey mind” and if you indulge in negative self-talk, just stop it. Seriously, experts advise fearful, doubting people to change their thinking from, “Oh no, woe is me,” to “Uh oh, time for a change-up.” See the difference between these two ways of reacting when Life Happens?
- Write, read, and visualize your goals daily.
Successful people make lists and check them daily. They write them down rather than typing them to make a better mind-body connection then use a pencil or pen to make notes, cross off completed achievements, and add new ones.
Many motivators stress the importance of verbalizing what you want. If you don’t know what you want, the thinking is, how can you possibly get it? Goals must be specific and more is better in this regard. Don’t say, “I want to be rich.” Describe what wealth looks like to you and how it feels. Try on this sentence for size:
“My monthly income will be $10,000 and my million-dollar mansion will have a platinum Mercedes parked outside.”
Do they make platinum Mercedes cars? Who cares, it’s a great goal!
- Invoke your inner coach.
Life is full of natural hardship and some of us have a talent for adding some from dwelling in a negative state. Very few superstar athletes made it to the winner’s circle without an energetic, persuasive, and effective mentor.
Has someone in your life inspired you to greatness – a parent, coach or teacher perhaps? When you find yourself having pessimistic thoughts, recall to mind someone who had your back and cheered you on, no matter what. If you never enjoyed the acquaintance of such a person, read books and listen to videos by motivational speakers until you find the ones who motivate you.
Make a mental picture of someone who supports you completely (even a fictional character will do) and ask yourself how she or he would deal with what you’re going through? Seek advice, compassion, and guidance from imaging what someone you admire would say.
- Cut yourself some slack.
A teacher wrote 10 multiplication equations on the board: 9×1=10, 9×2=18, 9×3=27, all the way up to 9×10=90. The instructor then asked the class what they thought about the ten mathematical statements. Many hands were raised eagerly with the answer, “The first one is wrong!” Indeed it was, commented the teacher, but no one mentioned the fact that nine of them were correct.
A 90 percent success rate is plenty good for most of us most of the time, yet some of us nit-pick our way through life. The trick is to stop being your own worse critic without sacrificing your personal and professional standards of excellence. Allow yourself to fail and realize that failure is a much better teacher than success.
Famous award-winning British psychologist Marissa Peer believes that all neurotic behavior stems from the conviction that, somehow, we just don’t measure up. Peer recommends writing, “I AM ENOUGH!” in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, post-its – you get the idea. This three-word mantra is quite powerful and has benefited many people, both humble and renowned, worldwide.
- Reward yourself.
When was the last time you patted yourself on the back? I mean, lifted your arm and reached over your shoulder to give yourself some congratulatory props? Successful people have mapped out stepping stones or milestones to get to their goals and when one of them is met, it’s party time!
In the morning, review recent accomplishments and do the same thing that night. How many goals did you achieve today and how did that make you feel? Consciously telling yourself you have done well and demonstrating this perception through actions or gifts to yourself – they don’t have to be extravagant – is vitally important to turning that frown upside down and having the courage to go on.
So what if your boss, your sibling or your in-law doesn’t think you’re the bee’s knees? You know you are! Tell yourself as often as possible that you rock. Totally. Dude.