Resilience factor Realistic optimism


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Text comes from: Resilienz: Die unentdeckte Fähigkeit der wirklich Erfolgreichen (2013) from Dr. Denis Mourlane, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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If you, like us, have a business relationship with an American one Company In whose concepts the term optimism plays a really important role, then care is to be taken for people from European culture such as myself. Why? Because there is unlikely to be a country in the world where the emphasis is on optimism as a personality trait as high as in the US.

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Dr. Denis Mourlane 98Dr. Denis Mourlane is a psychotherapist and one of Europe's leading experts in economic resilience.

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Optimism as a basic attitude

The phrase “Yes, we can!” was one of the main reasons Barack Obama won the 2007 presidential election because optimism, as a fundamental attitude to life, is nowhere more lived and shown openly than in the United States.

Perhaps it was above all optimists who broke out of Europe centuries ago to find their happiness on this continent, and perhaps this optimism has been so deeply drawn into American culture.

If malfunctions are detected too late

Perhaps this optimism is also responsible for the fact that the country has developed into the world's largest economic power. Perhaps, however, he is just as responsible for the fact that the country has recognized the wrong developments too late, and has for years developed from the greatest economic power in the world slowly into a developing country with ever-increasing poverty.

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Perhaps, on the other hand, it is much more fundamental to pessimism, which leads us to do our homework and to be careful. Perhaps, however, this pessimism leads to our own disadvantage that we recognize opportunities, but they do not seize them consistently enough.

Is optimism better than pessimism?

Perhaps with a little more realistic optimism instead of realistic pessimism, we could be significantly more successful and, above all, happier. This is and will be difficult to prove in the future, because things that we have not done or paths that we have not followed do not exist either. The question "What would have happened if ..." cannot be answered and one remains in the area of ​​guesswork in any case.

When we, and I am expressly talking about ourselves and our American partners, about optimism, we always mean "realistic optimism". This term describes the highly resilient people's inherent belief or attitude that things will turn positive.

Turn things around for the better

After the rain comes the sunshine. What makes the difference between optimism and realistic optimism is that the latter is always based on the actual circumstances, that is, the reality is being looked at honestly.

Let us assume, for example, that your doctor diagnoses a disease that is not life-threatening, but will lead you to take medications every day until the end of your life.

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The greatest opportunity for your life?

A realistic optimist will say on this basis that it is a pity but that he can nevertheless lead a happy life, while the optimist will say on the basis that this is the greatest chance of his life and he is now really happy will be. This does not have to, but can be completely overprinted.

As with any other resilience factor, caution is advised in optimism and this has reasons. You should not drive your optimism to the maximum in order to be able to assess situations in a realistic way.

To whom would you delegate the responsibility for a nuclear power plant

On the other hand, he is the only factor that must always be seen in connection with the activity that you are exercising and possibly loving. Who would you rather take responsibility for a nuclear power plant:

A realistic pessimist or a realistic optimist? Who would you rather be a controller in yours? Company hire: a realistic pessimist or a realistic optimist?

Optimists are happier

Psychological research provides us with clear indications that optimists are actually more successful and happier than other people, and this becomes clear when we consider the following example:

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You have your own company and a few weeks ago came a shower from your point of view, ingenious new product idea. You do not have time to implement them, and therefore consider which employee in your team will be assigned to you.

Show problems - or the solution

You have two very excellent and qualified employees, whom you can trust, and decide to conduct individual talks with them. Employee A listens to your idea and, in the course of the conversation, points you down to the last detail on the things that could not be done. You can not know that he really has a huge desire to implement the project.

Employee B has just the same desire for it, she also points out risks at some point or another, but describes in the same breath how to solve them relatively easily. He even supplements your idea, finds more ideas, and the conversation lasts a whole two hours. Whom will you hand over to the project?


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  1. Martha

    Resilience, positive thinking and courage, courage and more courage are so important - and this is exactly where this blog helps. Thanks for that!

  2. Robin gardener

    You are absolutely right, positive thinking is so important.

  3. Resilience factors: Resilience - The 7 pillars to success | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES

    [...] The 7 pillars of the success factor resilience: 5. Realistic optimism [...]

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