By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
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?
I will divulge five little-known “secrets” to help you immediately feel upbeat, confident, and optimistic.
Research: Why Optimism Is Good for You
Tons of research prove that optimists do vastly better than pessimists in their
4 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.
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. Many companies use my firm’s Abilities & Behavior Forecaster™ pre-employment tests when choosing applicants. To start, a company has high-achievers take the test. Also, underachievers may take the test. Then, we identify how the high-achievers score, so the company can prefer hiring applicants who score like its profitable, productive employees. Intriguing finding: One of the Forecaster™ test’s 18 scales is Optimism. Typically, high-achievers typically score high on the Optimism test scale, while underachievers score moderate or low on Optimism. This repeated finding verifies that optimists achieve greater career success than pessimists.
So, how can you boost your optimism to achieve greater health, wealth, and career success? Here are five immediately useful techniques. Each takes only one minute to do, so you can start fast and get results today.
1st Technique: Straight Posture & Big Steps
Optimistic people use straight posture, walk fast, and take big steps. Pessimistic people slouch, walk slowly, and use small steps. Imagine seeing someone walking with his or her head held high, shoulders back, walking fairly fast with big steps. That person exudes confidence. In contrast, a person whose head and shoulders slouch and walks with slow, small steps reeks a gloomy mood.
Why is a straight posture crucial? Because before you can straighten out your head, you first need to straighten up your body!
2nd Technique: Cheerful Voice
A lightning quick way to feel upbeat is to use a cheerful voice. Think of a time when you felt annoyed. Then, your phone rang. You answered it, and your caller was someone you wanted to impress. I bet you spoke in a cheerful voice so you would impress your caller. Result: You immediately started feeling your mood lift.
Why is a cheerful voice an incredibly powerful optimism tool? Psychological research proved that a person emotionally feels the emotion he or she is acting at the moment. So, if you act cheerful, you feel cheerful. And a cheerful voice is the fastest way to act optimistic.
3rd Technique: Use Upbeat Words
You can use types of words: upsetting and upbeat. Pessimists relish using upsetting words, while optimists excel at using upbeat words. Examples:
Upsetting Words Upbeat Words
For example, a pessimist says, “I have a problem.” In contrast, an optimist would say, “I have an opportunity to do better next time!”
4th Technique: Use Upbeat Attitudes
I find the chief way to become an optimist simply is to focus on solutions – and not focus on problems. Every time a difficulty pops up, immediately create solutions and put them into action. Examples:
Upsetting Attitudes Upbeat Attitudes
Focus on problems Focus on solutions
Dwelling on weaknesses Dwelling on strengths
Thinking about financial woes Thinking about achieving prosperity
Why is a solution-focus ultra-important? Because you can only have one thought in your head at a time. So, if you focus on solutions, you cannot wallow in problems, complaining, blaming, or moaning.
5th Technique: Be a Magnificent Role Model
Remember a time you were a role model for someone. As you helped that person, you also helped yourself. As the proverb goes: “What goes around, comes around.” If you are a delightfully optimistic role model for employees, co-workers, family and friends, then you simultaneously make yourself optimistic.
How do you do this? Make sure people see you using straight posture, taking big steps, speaking in a cheerful voice, using upbeat words and focusing on solutions.
Anyone can become an optimist. When people use these five techniques, they invariably tell me they feel heavy burdens lift off their shoulders. They feel positive, upbeat, and confident. You only need a few minutes to put these tips into action. They can be your key to enhanced health, wealth, and career success.
© Copyright 2011 Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a consultant, speaker, and founder of The Mercer Group, Inc. in Barrington, Illinois. He delivers speeches and seminars at conferences and companies. Dr. Mercer’s Forecaster™ pre-employment tests are used by companies across North America. He co-authored “Spontaneous Optimism®: Proven Strategies for Health, Prosperity & Happiness” & also “Hire the Best — & Avoid the Rest™”. You can subscribe to his free e-Newsletter at http://www.DrMercer.com or phone him at (847) 382-0690.