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spike bullet December 2010 - Optimism 

Got Optimism? Take This Quiz and Find Out
7 Ways to Optimize Your Optimism
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
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color bulletDecember 2010 - Optimism 

Most years, our December article is about fun in the workplace.  This year, we take a slightly different twist with an article on optimism, which if practiced, makes every single day a good day.  

Guest author: Tom Terez

Got Optimism? Take This Quiz and Find Out

For each numbered item below, score a 1 if you AGREE with the statement ó and a 0 if you DISAGREE. 

Total your numbers for all ten statements to come up with a final score ranging from 0 to 10.

  1. People make their own luck.
  2. Hard work pays off.
  3. Honesty really is the best policy.
  4. Tough times are temporary.
  5. Challenges bring out the best in people.
  6. There is much to be grateful for.
  7. The world is generally a friendly place.
  8. My co-workers are capable people.
  9. I have control over my future.
  10. My best days are ahead of me.

If you score a perfect 10, set up shop as an optimism coach.  Youíve got what it takes! 

If you score between 7 and 9, you are a strong optimist as well and itís likely you strengthen the attitudes of people around you.  Keep it up.!

If you end up with a score ranging from 4 to 6, you are on the fence, tipping between optimism and pessimism.  And, you have enough of a positive perspective to make further progress.  Be more conscious of your response to daily situations.  Avoid generalizing situations as "all bad" or personalizing them as "my fault."  See the article directly below for important advice.

If you rate from 0 to 3, well, thereís work to be done.  Read the next article for positive ideas and start taking action right away.

7 Ways to Optimize Your Optimism

Some people seem wired for optimism; most of us have to work at it. Here are seven ways to be realistically positive no matter what comes your way:

1. Appreciate and activate your strengths.  You have real skills, rich life experiences and a reservoir of good intention.  Put all of it to work every day.

2. Opt for a partial solution when perfection isnít possible.  Itís always better to make some progress than to endure life as a chronically frustrated perfectionist.

3. Imagine success before it unfolds.  Follow the lead of successful athletes.  Before you take on a challenging situation, picture yourself dealing with it in a winning way.

4. Act yourself into a new way of thinking. I t sounds a bit backward, but it works.  Pretend to be positive, carry yourself with confidence, communicate an upbeat message ó and those behaviors will start shaping your attitude.

5. Talk about whatís going right.  Even in the most dysfunctional environments, good things happen.  Start spotting those success stories and make them the focus of your conversations.

6. Put problems in perspective.  Too much thinking can drag us down, especially when we generalize ("Iím no good with numbers"), catastrophize ("If I donít make this next sale, Iím going to lose my job") or personalize ("It was all my fault").  Learn to recognize these distorted interpretations and replace them with a view of the situation thatís scaled down to fit reality.

7. Do what you can instead of dwelling on what you canít.  Thereís so much to be concerned about these days.  Try to accept what you canít change, but work like heck in those many situations where you can make a difference.


Tom Terez ( is an international consultant and frequent speaker on organizational performance ( and personal excellence (  Copyright © 2007-2010 Tom Terez Workplace Solutions, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission of the author.

  Internet Resources

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world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
    December 2009 - The 10 Commandments of a Happy Work Life
    May 2007 - The Law of Attraction at Work
    May 2008 - Work-Life Balance: A Conspiracy of Optimism
    April 2009 - The Good News!
    October 2005 - Great Management and Leadership
    September 2004 - Stress Busters: Managing Stress in the Workplace

     smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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