Exercising intentional optimism helps you to move from "hoping for the best" to taking ownership of finding actual solutions.

The following outlines three components of exercising intentional optimism.

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.”
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.”

Is there anything I can do about the problem?
Pessimistic: “This was a freak accident that happened to me. I 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.”

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So next time you are faced with a challenging situation and want to have a more optimistic attitude about it all, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Am I thinking that this is permanent?
  2. Am I feeling this is pervasive?
  3. Am I giving up, or taking, too much power?

Your power lies in your responses to these three questions.

Joshua Freedman, CEO of Six Seconds, explains how optimism is more than positivity.


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