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Half Empty, Half Full? Optimise Your Optimism

13/11/2015 10:25 GMT | Updated 12/11/2016 10:12 GMT

The A-Z Challenge: P is for Pessimist. Shift negative habits, alphabetically.

When you think of a situation as a 'problem', tension, worry, disappointment, frustration are most likely to arise. Now what happens if you were to think of the same situation as a 'challenge'? And what happens if you think of it as an 'opportunity'?

How you choose to see things affects how you feel and how we handle the situation. It influences your decisions and actions, and as a result affects the outcome.

Here comes the old glass metaphor: is the glass half empty or half full? How do you see the events in your life and in the world? A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Optimists focus on the possibilities, not the impossibilities. So, what are you, a pessimist or an optimist? Do you lean more towards one? Or do you switch back and forth depending on the situation? Maybe you're an optimist who is an occasional pessimist?

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Copyright: Inner Space


If your glass is half empty, fill the other half with optimism. How? All you need to do is broaden your scope for a moment. Step outside of your negative perspective. View the situation from a different light. Now, try to either think differently or find bright spots.

  1. Find the Positive. It's there in everything. You can find it, if you choose to look for it. The best is there in every person, your opportunity is to recognise it. The solution is there in every problem, your responsibility is to provide it. Success is within in every setback, your adventure is to discover it. There's a reason for every crisis, your challenge is to understand it.
  2. Think 'Maybe'. When things go wrong, rather than get weighed down by negativity, think 'maybe'! Maybe it's not meant to happen now. Maybe there's something better to come. Maybe there's a benefit or maybe there's something to learn here. Maybe things could have been done differently.

Pessimists may believe they have a more accurate take on reality than an optimist. But understand that when the going gets tough, optimists are able to be more resourceful and proactive in improvising and looking for alternative solutions. They get tougher, try harder and keep trying long after the pessimist has given up, because optimists cope, and pessimists mope.

In fact, research has found that optimists are genuinely happier, healthier and wealthier! They give themselves a better chance for success. So, to be a successful optimist, stay positive but at the same time stay grounded in reality.

If you want to optimise your optimism, start the day right. Create a positive mindset and set a positive tone for the rest of your day.

  1. Read or listen to words, music or a podcast that nourishes the mind.
  2. Meditate. Sit quietly, step back and rise above it all. Relax your mind and boost your ability to think positively.