In parts 1 and 2 we talked about the characteristics of optimism and how it affects people. We also discussed how it can help you cope with uncertainty and enhance other characteristics like confidence, courage, and resilience.
The only thing missing are some real world examples of how self-proclaimed optimists have had a positive effect on themselves and the world around them. So, here are five examples of real people who either use optimism to drive there success or teach optimist to help others:
- 1. Anthony Jai Robbins (a.k.a. “Tony Robbins”) is an American author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach. He’s best known for his self-help books and videos. He has helped countless people find better ways to face their challenges by squashing pessimism and building optimism. If you visit his website you’ll find titles like “How Stress is Damaging to Your Relationships”, and “Unleash the Power Within”.“Begin to live as though your prayers are already answered.”
— Tony Robbins
- 2. Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. In popular culture, she’s best known for her poetry, and can be seen in inspirational memes all over the Internet. Her brand of optimism can be characterized as defiant in the face of one’s darkest hour. One of her best known poems was published in 1978 and is titled “Still I Rise”.”You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
— Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems.
- 3. Nick Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. You read that right, the man has no arms or legs! He’s unique in many ways but, what makes him so genuinely inspirational is that he (in a manner of speaking) “talks the talk” and “walks the walk”. One of his lowest points in his life occurred at the tender age of 10, when he attempted suicide. He has since made a truly remarkable transformation into an example of hope and resilience.“The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?”
― Nick Vujicic
- 4. Richard Feynman was a brilliant theoretical physicist who’s known for his his 1965 Nobel Prize and work on the Manhattan Project. Details of his work read like the ingredients of a highly processed food package, with lots of big words strung together. Thankfully, we can appreciate his optimism and relentless passion for understanding the world around him without words like “path integral formulation of quantum mechanics”.Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.”
― Richard P. Feynman
- 5. Bruce Jun Fan Lee (a.k.a “Bruce Lee”) was born in 1940 in San Francisco, CA. He needs no introduction in the World’s martial arts community, he’s admired for his amazing physical abilities both on and off the movie screen. Relentlessly committed to his passions, he was also a continuous learner and has been frequently quoted for his uniquely worded philosophical views on life in general.“Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”
— Bruce Lee
As we jump into February, we ask you to find inspiration in history, you neighbor, or even a good movie. Find that person or thing that catches your interest and absorb the positive energy that radiates from it. Good luck!