When things are going well, you are unstoppable. Maybe you’re in your dream job, or about to start an exciting new project, or you just got a bonus. When positive experiences happen to people, life feels good, if even for a moment.
And now, firmly in the middle of summer, you might be preparing for an upcoming vacation. You may adopt a sunnier disposition when you’re taking a temporary break from the day-to-day, whether you’re off on a new adventure or revisiting your favorite place for the fourth year in a row.
It’s easy to be optimistic when things are going well — but is that truly optimism, or is it simply happiness in its own right? The answer to this question lies in what happens after the excitement dies down. What if your expectations aren’t met, or things don’t go according to plan? How do you remain optimistic?
The key to optimism is that it is not a feeling; it’s a mindset. It’s about how you approach the twists and turns of your ongoing path; it’s the ability to see the possibilities in any given situation. According to Forbes, people who maintain an optimistic outlook have an expectation that good things happen when they actively participate — so much so that they are 103 percent more inspired to give their best effort at work!
To put it into a real-life situation, would you rather work on a project with a team lead who wants the project to succeed and navigates through any challenges that come up with grace and genuine care, or the one who is just as confident but grumbles and complains at every minor setback or delay? Most people would prefer the former: someone who is not only enthusiastic and supportive, but actively works toward the best possible outcome despite what the team encounters along the way.
Fast Company expands on this idea, saying that optimism means focusing on what you can control, as an effort to improve your situation as well as those around you. In other words: optimism is contagious. People who embrace optimism do not lose hope when things don’t go as planned. They understand that optimism co-exists within the challenges they face and in the obstacles that they must overcome in order to get to the next level. Optimism seeks out the good in every situation.
In your daily work routine and beyond, practice optimism by facing the challenging situations head-on, which sometimes may mean changing course. But by focusing on the possibilities and solutions that are within your control, you can work toward the best outcome — and give inspiration to those who see you in action.
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