Incorporating optimism into your daily life can have a wonderful impact on your personal and professional growth. Research tells us that optimists set more goals than pessimists and rise above challenges more easily. Why? Read on!
Scientifically speaking, there is no such thing as being lucky. However, thinking that you are lucky can produce meaningful results.
A researcher in 2002 found that people who expect good things to happen to them fulfill their own prophecy. In the experiment, research volunteers designated themselves as either expecting good things to happen (lucky) or expecting bad things to happen (unlucky).
Both sets of volunteers were asked to read a newspaper and count how many photos were in it. The self-designated “lucky” volunteers were more likely to successfully complete the assignment in a few seconds, while the “unlucky” participants took an average of 2 minutes. Why? The “lucky” participants quickly took notice of a large message on the second page of the newspaper that read, “Stop counting, there are 43 photos in this newspaper.”
Similarly, the “lucky” volunteers were also more likely to see another message in the newspaper that read, “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.”
Importantly, these two messages were not hidden. They should have been as equally visible to both the “lucky” and the “unlucky” research volunteers. Yet, the “lucky” volunteers were far more likely to notice these critical instructions, complete the experiment in less time, and receive $250.
So, what’s the take-away?
Priming yourself and your brain to be optimistic, instead of pessimistic, allows you to notice and benefit from opportunities that you might otherwise miss.
Stay tuned for how to create a habit of being more optimistic!