Optimism Has Many Benefits


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Fifty-four percent of the millionaires in my Rich Habits study said that optimism was a critical factor in their success.

Since optimism seemed to be so widespread among the rich in my study, understanding optimism became a sort of side-hobby of mine.

I sought out studies on optimism in an effort to better understand this positive emotion. What I learned was that optimism has many benefits, besides wealth creation.

Optimists Live Longer

Telomeres are the caps at the end of each chromosome. Numerous studies have found a direct correlation between the length of Telomeres and life expectancy. The longer your Telomere, the longer you will live.

Becca Levy is a Professor of Epidemiology/Psychology at the Yale School of Public Health. She is also the lead author of a prominent study on Telomeres. Levy found that those who were more upbeat and positive had longer Telomeres and better health.

Optimists Are More Successful

Martin Seligman was a Psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. In the mid-1980’s, he created a Style Questionnaire that MetLife’s new salesmen were all required to complete. The responses to the Questionnaire helped Seligman classify each salesman as skewing more towards optimism or pessimism.

After two years of selling, Seligman compared the success of each salesman to the answers on the Questionnaires. What he found was eye-opening – the MetLife salesmen who skewed towards optimism outsold the pessimists by 20% in year one and 50% in year two.

Optimism Increases Your Concentration & Memory

In 1998 and 2001, B.L. Frederickson conducted two studies, measuring cognitive ability and risk tolerance. What he found was that those who were more optimistic had a greater degree of risk tolerance and, this increased positivity dramatically boosted their ability to focus and concentrate – two very important traits of success.

An increased ability to focus is critical to long-term potentiation – creating long-term memory.

Optimism is Contagious

In a Farmington Heart Study, in which twenty years of data was analyzed, James Fowler, lead study author, found that emotions, such as optimism, spread throughout your social networks – they infect everyone within your inner circle, including your children.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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