My mom’s such a positive individual. How positive is she? She’s so positive she was selected to be the president of the Optimist Club in Mandeville, and she still holds the title. I’m not even joking. She’s one of those ‘speak it into being’ types. The type of person who won’t have sufficient money for something one minute, and instead of complaining, maintains a positive attitude about the possibilities, and seeks ways to get it. Admittedly, her overly positive attitude is infectious,but it can be overwhelming at times, since the last thing you want when you’re disappointed is someone telling you to look at the bright side.
But despite how annoying optimism may seem; how unnatural a positive attitude applied to contrasting situations may seem, I’ve come to realize that the older you become, the more necessary such an outlook. Endless work, problems at school, busy family life, and unexpected vicissitudes can be stressful. This stress can cause thinking such as ‘I’ll never get this done in time.” ” I shouldn’t have started.” “I don’t think I can do this.” ” I’ll never be good at this.” These negative attitudes do more harm than good when it comes to completing tasks or managing responsibilities–which as I mention increase as you get older.
Negativity is a hindrance to success. It drains your effort to succeed because you’ve already seen yourself failing. The adage: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!” speaks to the issue of negativity. In life,you have to take chances and be positive about the outlook, because seeing yourself fail often leads to failure. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. When you tell yourself you can’t do something, you are robbing yourself of the ability to learn something new, to see how far you can go, to see how much you can endure. You are refusing to challenge yourself, and without challenges we are stagnant water, devoid of life. Conversely, when you tell yourself that you can do something, you give your self a chance to learn. Optimism prevents you from shutting down half way. It’s the can do attitude that encourages learning and the accomplishment of tasks. Optimism builds confidence, and it is confidence that leads us to become successful.
Negativity causes stress. I’ve observed that when I practice self doubt while doing something, I tend to procrastinate, which in turn leads to stress caused from incomplete work. If you’re a student or an employee working on a project with a deadline fast approaching, then you know how stressful it is when you’ve still not completed a project the night before it’s due. If you say you’re never going to get something done, you’ll never get it done, and if you haven’t gotten it done, then you’re never going to stop stressing until you get it done. If you’re optimistic, it’s different. Optimism or self reassurance not only calms you in a stressful situation, but it also pushes you to find ways to obtain a desired outcome. If you’re getting poor grades in a subject or poor reviews on a project at work, for instance, a negative view of the subject or your ability will either cause you to fail or drop the class ( thus, never succeeding in that area). An optimistic attitude, however, will encourage you to find ways to improve in the area. Instead of repeating predictions of failure, you’ll, instead, seek useful resources to help solve your problem: tutoring, group work, independent study, study harder.
Negativity is contagious. Unlike optimism, no one wants to be infected with pessimism. In fact, negativity seems to just slow everything down. It’s a mood killer; a perfect way to keep others at bay, if that is your intention. In a public setting, especially a professional one, a positive attitude boosts team spirit and momentum. Negative response, then, can be discouraging to team spirit and effort. How would you feel if you were criticized all the time? If your teacher or boss spewed negativity your way all the time?How would you feel if your entire work place was a big pot of negativity? I’m sure you’d feel depressed and discouraged. Just like you,no one wants to be around people who have nothing positive to say about anything. Therefore, if you’re always negative, unless you’re the boss, and even if you are, people will do best to avoid you. If work morale is low, productivity decreases, and so does your level of success.
Optimism makes you happy. It shows you the world in a more hopeful and inspiring way. Where hope is present, so is happiness.
So my advice: For better work ethic, building better relationships, and succeeding over all, as sunny as it may sound, practice optimism. If nothing else, remember that everyday is filled with new possibilities, if that’s not a reason to be optimistic, then I don’t know what else is.