Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it’s temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it’s not too late to change that habit.

For me, optimism is not a default setting. Raised in a deeply cynical home by a mother whose family fled Europe to avoid persecution, I was not inclined to look for that spot of silver in a dark cloud. Quite the opposite, I didn’t trust good fortune, worrying about impending catastrophe likely to follow. I unwittingly spent many years nurturing a somewhat gloomy outlook not optimal for overall success.

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