Do you know if you are an optimist or a pessimist? If so, how do you know? The Optimist expects the best possible outcome and dwells on the most hopeful aspects of a situation. The Pessimist has a tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable, or to take the gloomiest possible view of a situation.
Here are reasons why you want to do your best to be an optimist:
- Optimists live longer and are less likely to require permanent care. Optimists live roughly 8-10 years longer than pessimists.
- Optimists enjoy more love. They have more satisfying and longer lasting relationships than pessimists.
- Optimists have better careers. Optimists found more jobs and were more likely to be promoted than pessimists.
- Optimists tend to be more mentally stable and have less stress than pessimists.
Dr. Martin Seligman, a foremost psychologist, researcher, and writer, is credited with being the father of positive psychology. His book, Learned Optimism, is a classic in the field of mental health. He teaches techniques to develop optimism.
Research indicates that optimism or pessimism is twenty five per cent determined by genetics. The other seventy five per cent is determined by environment, social support, and learned behaviors. Thus, Seligman’s approach has significant viability in helping people learn to be optimists.
The following is a quick quiz that I found on the internet to help you determine if you are an optimist or a pessimist. Here is a sampling:
Answer “I agree a lot”, “I agree a little”, “I neither agree or disagree”, “I disagree a little”, I disagree a lot” to the following questions.
- In uncertain times, I usually expect the best.
- It’s easy for me to relax.
- If something can go wrong for me, it will.
- I’m always optimistic about my future.
- I enjoy my friends a lot.
- It’s important for me to keep busy.
- I hardly expect things to go my way.
- I don’t get upset to easily.
- I rarely count on good things happening to me.
- Overall, I expect more good things to happen to me than bad.
My goal here is for you to reflect on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. Feel free to get opinion from those who know you well. I encourage you to do your best to become an optimist, one who “sees the glass half full, not half empty”. It is a better way to live – and a longer way to live!
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates