Personal Development

7 Habits of Highly Optimistic People

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"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."  ~  Helen Keller ~

One of the basic attributes of any successful person, is their high level of optimism.   This is one of the main drivers of all winning and high achieving people.   Without some degree of optimism, we would never try anything new and our lives would remain perpetually stuck in the same place.   All the advances and achievements in history have been fuelled by a sense of optimism.   Besides, being optimistic just helps our lives to be more fulfilling, enjoyable and fun.   While some people believe optimism is something we are born with, we do have control over our thoughts and actions and therefore create our own level of optimism.

Here are 7 ways we can boost our level of optimism.

smilingBefore Going to Sleep, Go Over Everything That Went Well for You Today

We know that our subconscious mind will go over the last thoughts we had before going to sleep. Spend a few minutes thinking about everything that went right and that you enjoyed during the day just before going to sleep to program positive thoughts and images into our minds for the night.   This will allow us to have a better sleep and awake more positively to face the day.

Start the Day Focusing on Goals and Expectations

As soon as you wake up, begin thinking about what you want to accomplish with the expectation that it will happen.   Visualize yourself at the end of the day having achieved everything, or more than you had planned to do.   Spend a couple of minutes repeating your long term goals, purpose or life mission to yourself. Visualize yourself already having achieved these goals.

Make a List of Your Wins and Improvement Every Day

Look at life and success as a marathon; built upon continuous small wins and improvements. Look over your day and make a mental note of achievements, learned and improved. Write them down or tell yourself while looking in the mirror. This will not only build self-confidence but make it more natural to think of things that have gone well during the day.

Develop and Attitude of Gratitude

Successful, optimistic people never forget what they have to be grateful for. While striving to reach our goals and achieve more, it is important that we are grateful for what we have in the present. I keep a gratitude book in which I write in at least 10 things that I am grateful for before beginning my day. This ensures that I start the day in a positive frame of mind and gives me comfort, knowing that I have a wonderful base to be working from each and every day.

Always Focus on Solutions

In any situation, problem or difficulty we have a choice of where we focus our thoughts and efforts. Optimists don't waste time looking for who to blame, or commiserating on the problem. Instead they focus on the solution and look for ways to improve the situation. They look at failures as lessons to be learned that will help them avoid or overcome the same circumstance in the future.

Surround Themselves with Positive, Optimistic People

Optimistic people don't have the time, energy or inclination to spend being around naysayers and negative people.   They realize these people will only drain their energy so avoid them as much as possible and find other positive, motivated people to surround themselves with and bounce ideas off of.   Being optimistic will attract other optimistic, success oriented people who in turn will support us, our ideas and continue to boost our optimism.   It is common for successful people to be in a mastermind group to support each other in reaching goals. Find one to join, or set one up.

Focus on the Future and Continuously Learn and Grow

Being optimistic lets us believe that the future will be even better than the past and we look forward to it with excitement and anticipation.   People like Peter Drucker, who lived into his 90's, made it a goal to learn one new thing every year. One year he learned to speak Japanese. Not only does learning support us to be more optimistic, it keeps our mind active and open to new possibilities and opportunities.

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About the author

Harvey Deutschendorf

Harvey Deutschendorf is an emotional intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker. To take the EI Quiz go to His book THE OTHER KIND OF SMART, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success has been published in 4 languages. Harvey writes for FAST COMPANY and has a monthly column with HRPROFESSIONALS MAGAZINE. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy