The Art of Optimism by Jim Stovall

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Recently, I once again got to experience the excitement of having a new book of mine released. My new book is entitled The Art of Optimism and may be the most powerful among all of my more than 40 previous titles.  

I was always aware of the fact that there were optimists and pessimists, but I began learning about the incredible difference that being an optimist can make from my late, great friend and mentor Zig Ziglar. Zig was fond of saying, “I’m an optimist. I would go after Moby Dick in a rowboat and take the tartar sauce with me.”  

I remember being backstage at an event where we were both speaking. It seemed like everything was going wrong with the lights, the sound, and everything else surrounding that particular arena event. Zig was greeting everyone backstage as he always did. “It’s a great day to be alive.” One of the stage hands said sarcastically, “Well, you’re in a good mood today, aren’t you?” Zig abruptly turned, stared at the young man, and proclaimed, “Yes, sir. Many years ago, I decided to be in a good mood today.” 

Zig’s statement made me start thinking that we’re not born an optimist or a pessimist, but we can choose how we want to live. Recent scientific research has borne this out, and it is the basis for my new title, The Art of Optimism. There are many great reasons to be an optimist. Here are just five of them:   

  • Optimists are more creative. We always find what we’re looking for, and if you believe in greatness, excellence, and beauty, you will find it all around you. 

  • Optimism helps you emotionally. Although the science shows that optimists have to continually support their positive attitude, pessimism tends to stick with people long term. 

  • Optimism helps you professionally. People want to hire, promote, and work with optimists. The research shows that optimists are more readily hired, promoted, and given bonuses. 

  • Optimism builds your relationships. Subconsciously, friends and family members want to be around optimists and avoid pessimists. We judge relationships based on how we feel when we’re around the other person, and optimists make us feel better. 

  • Optimism keeps you healthy. The science shows that pessimists are sick more often and suffer longer with illness. Optimists are sick less often and recover faster. The research actually showed that being a pessimist has as much of a negative impact on your health as smoking cigarettes. 

One of the most important things you can do in your life is to be an optimist and share your optimism with everyone around you. 

As you go through your day today, enjoy the art of optimism. 

Today’s the day! 

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books, including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. His latest book, The Art of Optimism, explains how adopting an attitude of optimism can change your life.