The predominant quality of successful people is optimism. Your level of optimism is the very best predictor of how happy, healthy, wealthy and long-lived you will be.” ~ Brian Tracy

Exercise Optimism Definition: Taking a proactive perspective of hope and possibility.

Importance: By employing a habit of optimism, people take ownership. They generate new options, invent solutions to “unsolvable” problems — and they are healthier, have stronger relationships, do better at work, and are more resilient. 

exercise optimism quote - helen keller: although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it

imgresExample: If you have a disagreement with a coworker, a perspective of optimism can be a game changer. Instead of thinking, my coworker is this or that, and they won’t change anyway so there is nothing I can do, a person using optimism chooses to think that the disagreement was one specific event, which can be discussed after some time passes, and that they can work on communicating better with that coworker.

Exercising optimism helps you take ownership of your reactions. It makes people happy, which has a host of other positive effects. We use the term EXERCISE because it takes work — actively seeking out a perspective of possibility.

The Components of Exercise Optimism

Six Seconds’ Emotional Intelligence test, SEI, explores three dimensions to Exercise Optimism: duration, scope and power. For example, imagine someone had a car crash:

How long will the problem last?
Pessimistic: “It’s going to take SUCH a long time for my broken ribs to heal, and the car will never be the same.”
Optimistic: “It’s going to take months for my broken ribs to heal, it’s a long time, but it’s not forever.”

How widespread is the problem?
Pessimistic: “I can’t do anything until I’m better, my whole life is on hold.”
Optimistic: “I definitely can’t do sports for awhile, but I will catch up on some reading, and I will be able to work on my writing.”

Is there anything I can do about the problem?
Pessimistic: “This was a freak accident that happened to me, and I just have to hope for a miracle.”
Optimistic: “I better learn to drive more carefully next time. For now, I’m going to focus on taking care of myself and doing my physical therapy.”

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Emotional Intelligence Articles about Exercise Optimism

Is It Possible to Change? 5 Tips from Emergent Strategy Where Climate Justice and Social Justice Meet (8/15/2021) by Joshua Freedman - Facing vast challenges, it's easy to lose optimism. Yet new research says it's the key to change. How do we renew this resource? The combination of emotional intelligence and Emergent Strategy offers a path ...
Increase Resilience with Three Key Neuroscience Facts + Strategies from Emotional Intelligence (7/28/2021) by Michael Miller - Decades of research show three essential ingredients to grow resilience - powered by emotional intelligence. Here's how. ...
Igniting Hope in our Students: Three Sparks (3/23/2021) by guest - Educators and parents are concerned about children and youth becoming cynical about making the world a better place. They seem to be losing hope. Dr. Maurice Elias offers three strategies to change that. ...
6 Tips for Making the Best of Your Reality (10/12/2020) by Anabel Jensen - Our current reality is challenging. What do we do when we can't change it? Here's how we can make it the best reality possible with these six practical tips you can do today. ...
Illuminate: Strengthen the Muscles of Your Optimism (10/30/2019) by Michael Miller - Too often, we tell ourselves, “I can’t…” or “I’ll never…” or “I don’t deserve….” or we forget that we actually have more options than we perceive. We stop trying, we give up, and our muscles of self-determination and freedom wither. Learned Optimism is how we get those muscles back in shape. ...
Cultivate Growth Mindset with Unlikely Gratitude (11/12/2018) by Maria Jackson - Unlikely Gratitude: Finding the opportunity for growth in an otherwise, mundane, annoying, or horrible situation. ...
Putting the SDGs Into Action With EQ (10/24/2018) by Joshua Freedman - If you could teach millions of people and raise their awareness & ability to advance the SDGs, what would you choose to teach? ...
Illuminate: Who drives you NUTS? (10/15/2018) by Maria Jackson - Your 'Sandpaper Person' illuminates your own personal beliefs + opportunities for growth. This articles breaks down how to identify + learn from the person who most challenges you. ...
Illuminate: The Burn Out, Part I (9/24/2018) by Maria Jackson - So often, when we are in a hard place, we just want to get out as quickly as possible. But transforming our muck into meaning takes time, acceptance, and understanding. Here is my story of a recent burn out, and how you, too, can transform your muck. ...
Decision Making: Using EQ to Make Better Decisions (8/22/2018) by Michael Miller - Six Seconds’ State of the Heart report identifies the 3 components of emotional intelligence that predict good decision making. Here is the story of three EQ practitioners who have struggled, and succeeded, to cultivate each one. ...

Click here for more Exercise Optimism articles on our site

Recommended Tools

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life: In this groundbreaking guide, outlines easy-to-follow techniques that have helped thousands of people rise above pessimism and the depression that accompanies negative thoughts.

EQ for Families: Optimism Workshop: Deliver essential lessons on optimism and raising resilient children with this dynamic, effective module. Optimism is a learned way of thinking — and optimists live longer, are happier, healthier, have longer-lasting relationships, and are more successful!

The Optimistic Child: An excellent guide for parents committed to raising a child who has learned to create a positive future.

A Teacher’s Daily Dose of Optimism: This book is dedicated to the educators of the world who need encouragement. Its purpose is to help teachers keep the fire and passion for teaching alive by providing daily support, plus a specific tip for caring for one’s self.

Michael Miller

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