Smile – optimism is good for you

The big daddy of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman talks about the differences in the ways that optimists and pessimists look at the world. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how optimists celebrate wins and shrug off losses, whilst pessimists shrug off wins and fixate on losses. A wealth of research shows that optimism is good for you and that it can be learned just by training yourself to spot which way your mind is going and coaxing it in the direction you want if you are lurching over to the pessimistic side. Over time, that will actually change the way your brain works and you won’t have to think about it. I’m lucky enough to be a natural optimist and I am convinced that the tendency to look at all the good things in my life and to not let any setbacks get me down, even if they slow me down, plays a big part in where I have steered my life to. I didn’t have the best start in life, but every year it gets better. The other day I had to update my biography and write a list of everything I’d done and I almost couldn’t believe it. But ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I’ve always got a million things on the go. I’ve had just as many heartbreaks, let downs and failures as anyone else – but I believe that our past does not determine our future, and that’s what I try and live up to every day.