3 More Ways Optimism Adds Joy to Life

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  ~ Winston Churchill

Optimists are happier because optimists are, well, optimistic. Churchill, himself a self-proclaimed optimist, had it right. Optimists are happy because they dwell on happy things, like opportunity.

But how do they do in other areas of life? Continuing from my last post on the subject, here are the next 3 benefits recent studies (and common sense) suggest about the sunnier side of humanity.

3 More Reasons to be an Optimist #4-6

4. Practical Optimists Are More Successful. An employee who looks for the good even in negative circumstances also looks for solutions to work-place problems … and finds them more often … and solves them more often.

Optimists are more productive, spend less time wallowing in their own misery, complaining about the boss, the workload, the client, the weather, their arthritis, a hangnail, other employees, how slow the time is going, how fast the time is going, how bad things are, how unfair life is, and so on.

Where negative people undermine and corrupt office morale and culture with negativity and contention, practical optimists build and encourage and can otherwise imbue an office culture with a dose of positivity, with confidence and a sense of excitement and possibility.

This equally applies to self-employed people. They waste less time and work better with clients and are more productive.

Studies show optimists fill more top executive positions achieve more success and enjoy higher salaries than their less happy, more negative counterparts do.

5. Practical Optimists Have Better Marriages. Apply the principles in #3 to your spouse and it’s no wonder why practical optimists report having happier marriages more often. Misery loves company, but no company ever loves misery. That includes husbands and wives.

Committed pessimists, on the other hand, wallow enthusiastically in huge mud-pits of misery and despair.

Some have built quite successful careers around their pessimistic cynicism. The only problem is that the twin downers of misery and cynicism are not a good basis for a happy marriage.

But seeing the best in your spouse is. Where pessimists are suspicious of others’ motives, optimists tend to assume the best, or at least give the benefit of the doubt more liberally than a pessimist.

Trust, on the other hand, lifts and encourages, soothes wounds and builds confidence and weakens tension and removes barriers to a happy marriage.

There are other necessary factors to a happy marriage for sure. But that fact doesn’t negate the advantages optimists have over pessimists.

So, you want to improve the happiness of your marriage? Stop finding fault. Stop complaining. Encourage. Be positive. Believe. Honor. Praise. Compliment. Build. Uplift. In short, be a glowing practical optimist every time your spouse walks in the room!

6. Practical Optimists are a Greater Influence for Good. Those who believe humanity is capable of great things are those who will more likely try to urge humanity to greatness!

If I see darkness beneath the surface of most things in life, there will be a tendency to flee from it, rather than to engage it head on and improve it. Optimists believe more strongly in the improvability of humanity than pessimists do.

Studies report that people give more charitably when they feel happy than when they feel sad or depressed. As a matter of fact, depression really is an inward-looking mental/emotional state.

But goodness is, by definition, outward-looking, or others-oriented. Depression is self-oriented. It is therefore difficult to reach out to others while sad or depressed.

Optimists are encouraging. They make people feel good because they see the good in them. Motives are not suspect until reason is given to suspect. That initial offering of trust – a sort of sacred honor, really – is at the same time both comforting and inspiring.

Disclaimer

Lest I sound like I’m lifting optimists to some sainted level of perfection, I am not. But they certainly have some advantages over non-optimists in certain areas. Not every trait I credit optimists is fully developed in all those we would readily recognize as optimistic.

But the tendencies are nonetheless there. It is those tendencies I am underscoring. While not all optimists are good, there are more of the good who are optimists. Happy people do more good. Practical optimists are happier. So optimists are more likely to be among those who are engaged in doing more good, more often, to more people.

Afterthoughts

Perhaps one of the most important traits you can develop on your journey to a happy life is learning the art of practical optimism.

As you remove the darker shades of pessimism from your eyes and begin to see the world in brighter hues, life will open up and people will be friendlier. Others will notice the change too. It will feel good. You will feel good. You will be happier. Guaranteed!

Please comment and let me know what you think.