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Power Of Optimism Over Pesimism

Aug 18, 2007
Optimism - it is defined in the Oxford English dictionary as 1. hopefulness and confidence about the future or success of something, 2. the doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds. Pessimism on the other hand, is defined as 1. lack of hope or confidence in the future, 2. belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good.

It is often said that an optimistic attitude is slightly dangerous. This is because you are more likely to underestimate the potential for danger due to a too blithe and lackadaisical attitude that all will be well.

Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to be fatalistic. Everything is viewed as a disaster. If their friend did not call, they assume that person is angry. If their superior not pleased with them for a particular situation, they imagine that their job is on the line, and they expect to hear the bad news real soon. Pessimists view that they have little control. They do not believe they can effect change, so they take the passive role. They see no benefit in either trying nor minimizing risk to avoid the undesirable outcome. They ascribe good and bad things entirely to chance.

Optimists tend to view problems as only temporary and restricted to a particular set of circumstances. They believe they can effect a change if they tried.

Psychologist Martin EP Seligman explains that pessimists tend to be cursed by the 3 P's- permanent, pervasive and personal.

1. Permanent. Pessimists feel helpless and incapable of changing their situation. They can't see a way out. Pessimists are wrapped in their own misery and gloom. Listen to the pessimist speak: "I'm doomed!" "All is lost!There is no way out!" Optimists on the other hand, see it as temporary and will make attempts to effect changes .

2. Pervasive. Pessimists magnify the situation and see the damage as pervasive. Optimists on the other hand, exercise damage control- they confine the problem within its borders and refocus on the things that are working.

3. Personal. Pessimists take problems personally. They blame either themselves or someone else. Self recriminating thoughts often occur like, "I shouldn't have done this." Or "This would never have happened if I hadn't done this." Optimists see themselves as personally involved but they don't own every problem. They deal in the realities of what they have power over.

In conclusion, be an optimist. It is infinitely better. Take control, limit the problem, and control the things you can. You will get on top of your problems and succeed.
About the Author
May is passionate about helping others live the life of their dreams. Live, be do and have. http://www.successinspired.com. get your free report on Law of Attraction and creating wealth at: http://www.wisdomofgettingwealthy.com/rights/attractionaccelerator.pdf
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