Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

by Chris Widener,

I have been giving some thought lately to optimism and pessimism. Basically, these are attitudes. Attitudes that shape and formulate our entire existence. I mean, have you ever met a Glass Half Empty or Fullhappy pessimist? Of course not.

In short, our optimism or pessimism is this:

  • The way we interpret the past
  • The way we experience and view the present
  • The way we imagine the future

Have you given much thought about how your attitude, whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, affects you business, organization or school? Have you thought about how it affects you personally? And what about the team you are a part of?

What is optimism? It is a belief that things in our past were good for us, even if that means they were hard and taught us lessons. It is also the belief that things will be better in the future.

Here are some contrasts between optimism and pessimism and how they affect us:

  • Optimism breathes life into you each day
  • Pessimism drains you
  • Optimism helps you to take needed risks
  • Pessimism plays it safe and never accomplishes much
  • Optimism improves those around you
  • Pessimism drags them down
  • Optimism inspires people to great heights
  • Pessimism deflates people to new lows

There is only one way that optimism and pessimism are the same and that is that they are both self-fulfilling. If you are an optimist, you will generally find that good things happen to you. And if you are a pessimist, you will find yourself in the not-so-good situations more often than not.

So can a person just become an optimist? Yes! We can choose to look at the world any way we want to. We can choose to look at the world and think the worst, or we can tell ourselves the good things about each situation. As you find yourself looking at your enterprise, begin to view it through the eyes of an optimist, and you will reap the rewards listed above, and so will the people around you.

There are tremendous benefits to being an optimist, as stated above. But there are some pessimists out there who will say, “But that isn’t realistic.” I say “Who cares?” If things go awry, at least I have spent my time beforehand enjoying life and not worrying about it. And, being an optimist, I would view the “negative” situation as an opportunity to grow and learn. So I can even look forward to my failures because they will be stepping stones, and learning tools to be applied to my future success.

Have you ever met a successful pessimist? Become an optimist and see your world change before your eyes!

If you found these tips from Chris Widener of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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