Thinking about the differences between optimism and pessimism reminds me of a clear case discussed in the video The Lost Boys. We should start with a real life example of how pessimism can destroy or damage a person’s life is unbelievable. But let us instead begin by explaining the meaning of the word optimism. As described in the paper titled “Optimism”, optimism is the action or decisions an individual hold about favorable results in life. These positive results are directly correlated with a positive impact on the person and a better coping when confronting difficult times (Carver, Scheier, & Segerstrom, 2010).
Pessimistic people can display an array of emotions that will affect their day-to-day routines and feelings. These feelings can be depression, anger, and anxiety which will lead them to be not optimistic about the outcome of simple things such as taking a shower or studying for a test; which is the complete opposite of optimism.
An optimistic person according to research will experience positive outcomes, such as fructiferous friendships, satisfaction in marriage, mental health, and better work performance to mention others (Oxford Positive Psychology Series) (p. 95).
If we want to discuss real life example, we should refer to The Lost Boys video, in which a group of over 4,000 boys were brought to the US, and were given a type of haven for all the violence and genocide that was occurring in their country now called South Sudan. All these 4,000 individuals were brought under the same conditions, and they had the same opportunities. Each of us has a unique way of experiencing life, a different way to approach a problem, a distinctive way to solve issues and this undoubtedly will impact the outcome of our lives.
Most of these boys made it to the goals they had set up; others did not, which ultimately reflects that issues and problems affect everyone in different ways (Carver, Scheier & Segerstrom, 2010). We all have different approaches when confronting challenges, and that is what builds our strengths, but ultimately, being optimistic or pessimistic will have a direct impact on our future. These above ideas and the survey helped me realized of my strengths and how just having a bit more confidence in ourselves can help us being more optimistic about life, hence achieving positive results later on.
Carver, C., Scheier, M. & Segerstrom, S. (2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 879-889.
The Lost Boys, part one. (2013, March 31). Retrieved February 10, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-R5YNZxj2E
The Lost Boys, part two. (2013, March 31). Retrieved February 10, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qct_fDjiQE
Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.