The Boston Globe reports today that many of us — possibly 80% — are optimists.
Optimism and pessimism alike each have benefits. Studies suggest that optimists may enjoy better health, but being overly optimistic can be a hindrance when it comes to launching or running a business.
The effect of optimism may also be influenced by one’s career:
The importance of positivity can vary by profession. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman, a leading researcher on optimism, has found that pessimistic law students are the most successful. Optimistic sales agents, on the other hand, significantly outsell pessimistic ones.
And optimism may even have political consequences:
According to Seligman’s analysis of presidential elections between 1948 and 1984, optimists usually win. Pessimists lost 9 of those 10 elections.
Test yourself to measure how optimistic you are at the Authentic Happiness web site (registration required first for access to tests). Or take this shorter test posted at the Boston Globe.
Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.
A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals. She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs. She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.
web site: http://dianelevin.com