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Optimism is the hidden key to your personal and business success. Optimists possess a clear vision of an exciting life, confidently work on goals to achieve their vision, and take self-responsibility.

In contrast, pessimists have no clear vision of a fantastic life, and they love to complain, blame, and moan. How can you become more optimistic? Tons of research proves that optimists do vastly better than pessimists in their Health, Wealth, and Career success.

Health

A growing body of “psychoneuroimmunology” medical research links how a person’s emotions affect his or her health. Some intriguing findings: Optimistic people are less likely to get sick than pessimistic or depressed people. This includes illnesses ranging from common colds to cancer. Optimistic people also get well faster than pessimists.

A study published in the journal Circulation tells about how researchers followed approximately 100,000 women over eight years, looking at how long they lived and how many heart attacks they suffered. And guess what? “Optimists had a 16% lower risk of having heart attacks,” stated the lead author, Dr. Hilary Tindle of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Wealth

A fascinating study found that self-made millionaires worry much less than people who earn as much money but have not achieved millionaire status. What is the connection between being optimistic and making yourself into a millionaire? Optimists are much more likely than pessimists to make a goal of achieving millionaire status.

They also keep plugging away at being frugal, investing wisely and working hard to turn financial dreams into reality. In contrast, pessimists are less likely to set net-worth goals or consistently take actions to become millionaires.

Career Success

Take leadership, for example. Nowhere is optimism more important than in leading organizations. Highly effective leaders have a transforming effect on their constituents: they have the gift of being able to convince others that they have the ability to achieve levels of performance beyond those they thought possible.

They are able to paint an optimistic and attainable view of the future for their followers: They move others from being stuck with “how things are done around here” and help them see “how things could be done better”. Consider, as well, the reverse: the effect that pessimistic individuals can have on an organization’s creativity and innovation.

To be innovative, you need to be open to new ideas, wide open to seeing possibilities, willing to take risks and encourage others to take risks – willing to challenge the process in order to create new solutions or products or improve processes.

In short, you need to have a sense of adventure and an expectation of success. Those who have a pessimistic outlook typically approach changes to the status quo with the familiar: “We tried this before”, “It won’t work”, or “It will never fly”. Such individuals often label themselves as “devil’s advocate”. How can someone who has a pessimistic outlook embrace change over the safety of the known?

Another characteristic of those who have an optimistic nature is: “Optimists use their imagination to rehearse success”, in other words, they play positive mental videos of preferred outcomes, much like sports figures do. Michael Jordan, for example, once stated that he never plays a game that he hasn’t first visualized. Another trait is that “Optimists think that they have great capacity for stretching” – they believe that their personal best is yet to come.

References: http://www.careerwomaninc.com/blog/?p=963 , http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_72.htm,

http://www.drmercer.com/artman/publish/article_7.shtml

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