In my spare time, I’m researching investment options and yesterday I saw a DVD (from Netflix) by Brian Tracy, who was encouraging entrepreneurship. Right up my alley.
He said there was a study from the University of Pennsylvania, with over 300,000 subjects (i.e. survey participants), on the characteristics of successful people. I’m convinced that most surveys find whatever it is the researchers look for, but in any case, this study’s finding was that the top quality of “successful” people is optimism.
Even of greater interest, Mr. Tracy showed four specific exercises to strengthen optimism:
1. Talk about the things you want in life; this helps displace negative thinking.
2. Look for the good in every person and in every situation. If you look hard enough, you will find it.
3. Look for the valuable lesson in every setback. Keep in mind that the presence of problems is a sign of life; every problem is a learning opportunity. Most problems teach more than one lesson.
4. Nourish your mind with beauty and enlightenment. Well, actually Tracy said to feed your mind continually.
Optimists learn more things, try more things, and persist longer when the obstacles show up, as they always do.
These ideas should sound very familiar.
I just found out a paper I submitted to the National Communication Conference was accepted for their November conference. I missed their first deadline, which was mid-February, but the deadline was extended by 48 hours because of a computer glitch, so at the very last minute I remembered a paper I had written in fall, 2005, and sent it in….just in case.