In difficult times, as the world is in today, optimism can be an important attribute to coping with our anxieties and getting through to a positive outcome. We draw on an insightful article by Allan Gray that analyses different forms of optimism and its benefits.
Optimism is a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavour will be positive, favourable or desirable.
Optimism is directly linked to control. If we feel more in control of our lives, we tend to be happier, healthier, and more optimistic about the future. Currently, Covid-19 and the lockdown situation has removed our sense of control, which makes having a positive outlook difficult.
A simple strategy to feeling some form of control is adopting the “grandmother advice factor”, such as eating well, getting enough rest, and connecting with family and friends. This can go a long way to regaining control and feeling more optimistic.
But beware of blind optimism, which can neglect the planning for less positive outcomes. A reality check needs to be in place. Blind optimism can be dangerous, as we have seen it hinder a more realistic and pragmatic approach to the Covid-19, as experienced in the USA. It is possible to be optimistic about your own circumstances but pessimistic about the country.
Optimism needs to be realistic. Challenging times need to be accepted with an understanding that actions may be needed to achieve what you want and that some things cannot be changed.
Although our current situation may look grim, being optimistic can have the following positive effects:
- It supports creative thinking and the generation of ideas.
- It produces a tendency to act.
- It supports persistence in a chosen course of action that is difficult.
To be realistic about your future, a well thought out financial plan can be an important reality check. We can assist you with our easy-to-use financial planning process. Click here to start your free financial analysis.