Motivational speakers and gurus say positive thinking is the pathway to success. But is it? Can positive thinking and optimism actually cause good things to materialize in your life? Or does it only set you up for disappointment? The truth may lie somewhere in the middle, which is also known as realistic optimism.
Studies show that optimism promotes happiness and success. However, unchecked optimism can be disastrous. What’s more, no amount of wishing can make something happen. You must get real and take the necessary steps to make your positive thoughts/dreams become reality. Realistic optimism is where it’s at. Learn how to practice it below!
Optimism Promotes Happiness and Success
Optimism is usually defined as looking on the bright side. It’s having frequent positive thoughts about the future. And that’s powerful. So powerful in fact, it could gift you with good health, happiness and success.
How so? According to research, optimism lowers blood pressure, fights off infection, reduces the risk of heart disease and increases your lifespan. It also increases the odds of success across many of life’s pursuits, including career, income, marriage, friendship and more. And if that isn’t enough, optimism makes you a happier person, which in turn, can make you healthier and more successful (because people like to be around happy people).
Is It Possible to Be Too Optimistic?
Okay, not all optimism is beneficial. In fact, blind optimism can be harmful. If you believe a job promotion is yours for the taking, for example, you may not work as hard as someone else, causing you to miss out on the opportunity. If you think you can become a millionaire effortlessly, you may be shocked that your bank account doesn’t grow exponentially.
Realistic Optimism: Why it Works
If you want to make optimism work, you have to keep it real. You must believe (for real, not in a fantasy) you can succeed, and you must also understand that the road may not always be smooth. Realistic optimists know success is theirs for the taking, but that a foundation and ladder must be built before they can reach it — and most importantly, they know they have to do the building themselves.
To practice realistic optimism, have faith in yourself and cultivate a can-do attitude. Remain mindful of the tasks ahead. Know it will take persistence and tenacity to succeed. But also know without a doubt that you can do it!