b'FEATURED ARTICLEA case for optimismWe have a choice in whether we are optimistic or pessimistic in how we interpret what is happening in the world right now. H Research shows that optimistic people are happier, healthier, ow are we relating to the current socio-economic, political realities? Is it possible to be optimistic whenbounce back faster, try harder, give up less, and as a result facts are highly concerning? How do we stay positivehave a tendency to succeed. Seligman suggests that we when we hear conflicting views from our senior politicaldevelop PERMA to flourish and regain optimism.leaders about how to manage our COVID-19 situation? Reading the news in the morning or watching the politicalThe acronym PERMA means:programs on TV can be upsetting. It can be hard to maintain optimism and stay centred in an environment that seems soP:Pleasant emotions, looking for opportunities to cultivate volatile. these E:Engagement and flow, by participating and committing Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology,fully to lifedifferentiates pessimistic from optimistic perspectives basedR:Relationships that are supportiveon three key factors:timing (whatever happens will go away vs. will stay forever), situation (it is just this situation and notM:Meaning and purpose, finding reasons to do what we do, everything, or all people), and degree of control (we can planclarifying our valuesaround it vs. feeling completely out of control). A:Accomplishment, for its own sake.Consider a current challenge you are having. Will it be thereFocusing on these five elements may help us to have a more forever or last just some time? Is it happening locally oroptimistic view of reality and as a result to develop higher everywhere? Can you plan around it? Is there anything withinlevels of wellbeing. It is worthwhile to consider how to apply your control that will allow you to take care of the situation?them in our lives. I admit it is not always easy to be optimistic, Are there other possible interpretations you could consider?but it has helped me to navigate COVID-19 in my personal life Are you taking a passive stance around it? and support my clients, colleagues, and the people I love.Adapted from the work of Dr Damian Goldvarg.We may not be able to change the facts, but we may be able to do something about our relationship with them. We are still in control of our interpretations, decisions, and actions.Positive Psychology offers some distinctions to help us build resilience and navigate some of these challenges. I am not talking about unrealistic expectations, but optimism based on facts.Our brain has a tendency to distort towards being catastrophic. What about considering the possibility that things will be ok after all? What can we learn from thisPauline Triggiani experience? How might we transform something with a negative impact into a learning opportunity? Managing DirectorPriority People Consulting LtdNOVEMBER 2021 4 9'