How Optimism Works in Our Relationships

by David Ryback, Ph.D.

Meaning comes from finding value in your experience of life, primarily in the relationships with those with whom you interact on a daily basis.  Optimism is the result of taking hold of How Optimism Works in Our Relationshipsthe uncertainties that life offers you and creating success by taking charge of the details under your control.  What about the claim that optimists just deny the gravity of harsh reality?  It turns out, on close inspections, even in the face of disaster optimists are less crushed than pessimists.

How does an optimist differ from a pessimist?  Most of us are familiar with the credo to change what we can, accept what we can’t, and “have the wisdom to know the difference.”  The wisdom of the pessimist usually errs on the side of “can’t”, while the optimist is earnest in changing almost anything, unwilling to yield to the “can’t” category.  The pessimist plays up the possible negative outcomes; the optimist takes charge in creating positive outcomes.  A pessimist loses energy quickly when faced with a challenge; the optimist creates a momentum that is not easily stopped.  The optimist looks for what is possible to change and dives right in with energetic zeal.  Once a complete attempt has been made to change a situation for the better, only then does the optimist accept what cannot be changed and does so with equanimity.

To sum it up, pessimists get carried away by extra time spent on routines that distract from the relevant realities of life, and any activities that make them feel that they’re delaying the inevitable disappointments in life.  Optimists get on with life to make room for the next good thing.

If you found these tips from David Ryback, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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