Winston Churchill on Optimism

Winston Churchill once commented, “The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity.”

The pessimist allows problems to rent cognitive space. But why think of problems when you can fill your head with solutions?

How you respond to a new idea is an example of what you put in your head. Do you immediately dismiss it? Do you see it as foolishness? Or do you allow yourself to examine the idea, to try it on for size, and think, “It just might be worth trying?”

The positive person is open to the new, the different, and the innovative. How you respond to new ideas could be the difference between your learning and growing—or stagnating.

When you reflect on it, you will conclude that positive folks have almost always been more right than the negative ones. Every tangible item we possess or use was created by someone—somewhere who thought, “Now that’s an idea that’s worth trying.”

Nothing was ever invented or created by somebody who said the reverse: “That will never work.”

Positive people practice positive expectations. They know that what they think has an effect on their expectations. Myron Trubus said, “There is no such thing as immaculate perception. What you see is what you thought before you looked.” Psychologists refer to this as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” If you expect the good to happen, more often than not, it will. And if you expect a bad thing to happen, it often does.

Why deprive yourself of the power of the positive? It’s an attitude you can develop. Just think, “It might work,” and then practice positive expectations.

As the teaching model states, the first practice of successful people is positivity.
1 Comment
  1. As Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” I think it’s not always a simple question of attitude, but often also of vision. If we don’t see how things could be better, we don’t believe they can improve.

    Granted, even after showing someone that change is possible, they still may choose pessimistic denial. My theory is it’s an ego problem. Accepting that change is possible forces people to take responsibility for the fact that they gave up when they could have made a difference and stood for what they believe in.