dr carl robinson
New slide

The Currency of Success - Interpersonal Intelligence™

Optimism: How to Cultivate It and Why You Should

Human psychology is a fascinating area of research. As much as we discover, there is still much more still to be learned. One aspect that particularly interests me is how your pysche: your feelings, your emotions, and your thoughts, can directly affect your day to day life. That includes not just your personal life and relationships, but your business too. One negative thought can change the course of a day from ‘good’ to ‘bad’, and vice versa. Yet optimism isn’t something most of us find comes naturally; we are far more easily drawn to the dark side of things, happier (it seems) to look for the bad in situations rather than assume the best and work on that principle.

So the question of whether or not optimism makes a difference can be answered with a resounding yes.

However, the real question is how can we make this work for us, when negativity is what we see first. Is optimism something that can be learned? Can we make ourselves more positive, and our lives more positive too? Here are some ideas of how you can become a more positive person.

Your Thoughts Do Matter

Your very thoughts can have an impact on the way you live your life, even if you don’t realise it at the time. Think about it this way; if someone pulls out in front of you at a junction, or you take a corner too fast, or any other errors take place on your journey into work, you will find that more follow. You are focusing on the bad, and more bad happens because this is what you are subconsciously heading for. If, on the other hand, you experience something negative on your way to work and then deliberately go out of your way to look for something positive, you’ll see lots of positive things on the journey. By the time you get to work, you’ll feel optimistic about the day ahead.

It can be hard to look for the positive; that’s the point we’re making. Sometimes it can mean repeating mantras to yourself, enforcing the positive nature of what you can see around you. Over time this will become easier.

Think Of Past Successes

In business it can be dangerous to think too much of the past, just as in life it can be a mental drain to dwell too much on things that have already come and gone. Yet when it comes to being optimistic and especially when you are learning how to be so in an effort to make a difference to your life, it is important.

When you need a boost of optimism, think back. Think of a time when you created something amazing or you won a huge contract or you were particularly happy. The memories will create positive feelings and thoughts, and you will feel a lot more optimistic; you can prove to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to – after all, you’ve done it in the past.

Focus On The Positives

Events are not positive or negative – it is our reaction to them that gives them a meaning and an interpretation. That means that when something happens, you should be able to reframe it in a positive light, even if your first reaction was a negative one. Of course, some things such as death, illness, and so on cannot (and should not) be reframed; some situations are negative and can be nothing else. Yet many can become positive, and it is these that you need to work on. It might be something as simple as learning a business lesson, or it could be something like gaining inner strength, but there will always be a message and a new piece of knowledge learned from whatever happens.

Look For Solutions

Pessimists see problems. Optimists see solutions. That’s the major difference between these two types of people, and what will make one more successful than the other. Think of it this way: the same thing happens to two different people. One dwells on the negative situation, and the other looks outward, trying to fix it. Who is going to move forward first? Who is going to be more optimistic, happier, more successful?

Dwelling on a negative won’t turn it into a positive. All it will do is make you negative too. If you can work out a way to get past the issue and seek out a solution, all the better. If there is no solution, dwelling on the issue won’t help either way.


In essence, we have still only just scratched the service of the mind and how it works. However, it is possible to say that optimism really does make a difference – to everything. The more optimistic we can be, the better our situation, whatever it may be, will feel. Positive builds on positive.