by: Kurt Mortensen
Optimism is more than a positive mental attitude. It is not constantly saying positive things to yourself and hoping they will come true. True optimism is a frame of reference that governs how you look at the world. Optimism means having expectations that, for the most part, things will eventually turn out okay. Being optimistic means that you really believe you will be able to accomplish everything you want to do. Influence and optimism come together when you can transfer your hope and courage concerning the state of the world, the product, or yourself into the minds of others so that they will be inclined to follow you.
Influential optimism means you see the positive in all situations. You look for ways to move forward. You don’t focus on disappointment or negative feelings. People want to spend time with individuals who have a positive view on life. As an optimist, you see the world as a series of exciting challenges. You inspire positive feelings about everything you stand for. This mindset is contagious and helps empower people to believe in themselves and in you. In other words, as an optimist, you help others see failure or setback as temporary. Success will happen. In contrast, a pessimist sees that temporary setback as permanent failure. Optimists know that when failure arises they have something in their life they need to change. A pessimist calls it a weakness and never moves on. Optimism then is the ability to bounce back sooner rather than later or not at all.
Nobody wants to be around a moody, angry, or pessimistic person. We all like and admire those who have a positive, optimistic outlook on life. Optimism and a positive attitude develop magnetic influence over others. If you are an optimist, you will attract people to your cause and everyone will want to follow you. Countless studies have shown that optimists do better in school, perform better in their careers, and live longer than pessimists. Pessimists, on the other hand, battle depression and give up more easily.
When you master optimism, you will have the ability to recover from any setback or failure with an easygoing nature. This is a rare quality that will take time to develop. Not only does optimism help you influence others but you also won’t fall into a state of apathy or hopelessness. You have to learn to control your pessimistic voice. We all have both an optimistic and a pessimistic voice inside of us. Which one do you listen to?
An experiment was conducted measuring people’s capacity to endure pain. The subjects put their bare feet into a bucket of ice water. The experimenters found that the only factor that made a difference in the subjects’ reactions was encouragement. When you can encourage others to create an optimistic outlook of the situation, you can also influence them. The study showed that when someone was present to give them encouragement and support, the sufferers were able to last longer and endure more pain.
“Success in life is 85% attitude 15% aptitude.” – Harvard Study
Attitude is a subset of optimism. Attitude is a reflection of what is happening inside a person. Our attitude reveals to the world what we expect in return. Our attitude is also completely under our own control.
Most people don’t spend time thinking about their attitudes, yet they let their attitudes control them throughout the day. They absorb the attitudes of others. Reaction is their primary mode of operation. If we understand that most of our attitudes start in neutral and then are changed, depending upon what we decide to think and feel, then we are well on our way to controlling our attitude.
Attitude is a habit. It arises from our expectations – what we expect of ourselves and of others. Frustration is normally just the result of an unmet expectation or a contradiction between reality and attitude.
You can change your life and influence others with your attitude. The expectations we create from our beliefs and the world around us are rooted in our thoughts and experiences. When we master influence, we know that our attitude and our expectations are critical in getting others to take action. Whatever your attitude or expectation is will be reflected back to you by the person you are attempting to influence.