OBSERVATION: Hard Times Test Our (My) Principles and Character

Life continually tests our principles and character with unanticipated twists and turns. Right now my convictions about positivity and gratitude are severely tested by economic pressures causing the nonprofit Josephson Institute to sharply reduce staff (from 32 to 16) and re-think how we can continue to pursue our mission in a world where schools have no funds for our program …

OBSERVATION: How Can a Natural Pessimist Become More Optimistic?

Every full life has its bright days and its dark days, its triumphs and defeats, its calm and stormy seas. All these high and low experiences could justify viewing the past through the lens of gratitude or disappointment. And the way we characterize our history will determine whether we look toward our future with hopeful expectations or anxious trepidation. If …

OBSERVATION: Scientific evidence and personal experience teach us that approaching each daily task and our lives in general with a positive attitude (optimism, enthusiasm, confidence) significantly increases actual success and enhances personal happiness. Yet many of us stifle our careers and pollute our personal relationships by persistent negativity. Just as losing weight and keeping it off is really hard, so is losing self-defeating attitudes and staying positive — but it’s doable and worth it. The strategy: self-consciously cultivate optimism.

Here are  some suggestions to help you more consistently reap the benefits of positivity.

OBSERVATION: Talent is, of course, important, but the two qualities that make the critical difference between talented people who succeed and those who don’t are persistence and positivity. Successful people don’t give up or lose confidence; they learn from every experience and get better.

Two of America’s greatest inventors, Charles Kettering  and Thomas Edison, embraced the same philosophy, which allowed them to take in stride what others called failure, and build upon it. Kettering said: “I failed forward to  success.  An inventor fails