Intelligent Optimism & Positive Thinking

I’ve always been a believer in positive thinking, even before reading The Magic of Thinking Big back in 1987.  But I’ve never been a believer in “thinking it will make it so”.  I’ve learned you need to put in a little “sweat equity” along with all that positive thinking.

So, you can imagine my delight in reading an article in the Harvard Business Review by Heidi Grant Halvorson  – Be an Optimist without Being a Fool.  She confirms that thousands of experiments have yet to disprove that believing you will succeed increases the likely hood that you will, in fact, succeed.

But there is a difference in believing you will succeed and believing that you will succeed easily.

She continues to differentiate between the realistic optimist and the unrealistic optimist.

The realistic optimist will believe they can succeed and see the path to success involves overcoming obstacles, putting forth effort and having to make it happen.  The unrealistic optimist will believe that success will come to them and that it will be easy, after all, they’ve put so much effort into positive thinking.

Positive thinking is a key factor in obtaining success, visualizing success increases your likely hood of obtaining it. But visualizing effortless success may be counterproductive according to studies. Those who visualized success and believed it would involve effort were much more likely to succeed.

How to use this information to increase your chances of success:


  • Think positively
  • Visualize your success
  • Visualize yourself overcoming obstacles and forging on
  • Understand that it isn’t going to be a “cake walk”
  • Be ready to obtain the knowledge, strength, and growth that your success will require
  • Get busy!

As a business coach I help business owners get busy on the right activities. My goal is straightforward – to help business owners see a dramatic and immediate increase in leads, sales, and revenue.  I’ll provide you with the tools, resources, and training that will make your business the dominant player in your market.   Schedule a 15 minute discovery talk.