What is optimism? Here’s the definition from the Merriam Webster dictionary.
- a doctrine that this world is the best possible world
- an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome. Examples: “expressed optimism about the future of the business” and “the optimism of cheerleaders”
But is it realistic to anticipate the best possible outcome? I heard a woman on television say once, looking back on her abusive childhood, “I learned not to expect anything, and that way when I didn’t get it, I wouldn’t be disappointed.” I thought, what a waste of a childhood and a sad case. But even as adults, we sometimes do the same thing.
Are you afraid of what “could” happen? Fear is often worse than the actual event. That being said, here are some interesting facts. All of us will die someday—it’s an inarguable fact—but:
- You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than a poisonous spider.
- Every day, 60 people die from opioid pain medications. That’s 22,000 people every year.
- More than 10 people a year are killed by a vending machine
- In 1981, a man had a heart attack after playing the game Berserk––video gaming’s only known fatality.
Even if your event didn’t kill you, I found these statements about injuries, online:
- Each year, more than 50,000 people are injured by jewelry in the U.S.
- 4,000 people are injured by teapots every year.
- A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans. Every year, more than 8,800 people injured themselves in some way with a toothpick.
- On average, 100 people choke on ballpoint pens every year.
- 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets every year.
- In 1990, there were about 15,000 vacuum cleaner–related accidents in the United States.
So, you see, there are numerous ways people can be injured or even die that you would never have thought of. Hence, it’s best to be positive and expect the best. If you thought all these things would happen to you, you would never go outside. But how can you make network connections if you never meet any people?
Some of the tried-and-true methods of getting people to like you include using their name in conversation with them, for instance, “Russell, I noticed that you have a new car. How do you like it? It sure looks sharp!”
Approachable body language will also help such as turning toward them, posturing open gestures (not crossing your arms) and, most of all, smiling. Facial expression has a great deal to do with whether people will like you. And if they like you, you will probably be more optimistic when you think of your chances of being hired or even just making a friend.
Here are more tips from an article in The Huffington Post.
I like the idea of describing a co-worker as brilliant, friendly, or attractive. This will cause your target to attribute those characteristics to you.
An article from Forbes says to put away your phone. This is a great reminder as people even on first dates know not to constantly be looking at their cell phone. Are they looking for a better deal?
In short, do the right things and have faith, and you will automatically make yourself more optimistic. Make a plan for your goals and outline steps to achieve those goals. As you check off the steps one by one, you will become more optimistic when you feel the sense of achievement.
by Mary Blowers QED