Throughout the context, and real-world examples must also

Throughout history, people have wondered how individuals differ, and why they act in particular ways. Traits are non-ending dimensions of personality on which people vary (Carver, C., & Scheier M. 2012). Traits were researched and investigated for their own unique and credible differences from other traits. One unusual trait is optimism. Optimism as a trait is a unique and sophisticated concept (Peterson, C. (2000). Anthropologist Lionel Tiger defines optimism as “a mood or attitude associated with an expectation about the social or material future one which the evaluator regards as socially desirable to his or her advantage, or for his or her pleasure.”  Lionel Tiger’s definition of optimism is that there is no single or objective optimism (Tiger, L. 1993). Optimism is considered to be what the individual deems desirable. Lionel goes on to explain how “Emotional Flavor must be in the context, and real-world examples must also be considered, such as how an individual was feeling on any particular day, or how pessimistic that person might be” (Tiger, L. 1993). An example listed by Lionel in the real world is two college roommates. One roommate is more emotionally stable, optimistic, and happy about life while the other is naturally more pessimistic or less optimistic, and less emotionally stable about the future and its outcomes. Another definition is explained as, “Our approach to the possibility that optimism has important behavioral consequence derives straightforwardly from a rather general model of behavioral self-regulation” (Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. 1985 p. 220). They go on to clarify that “People differ widely from each other in how they approach the world, some persons tend to be favorable in their outlook” (Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. 1985 p. 219). Their real word examples took a similar approach to that of Lionel Tiger, that choice being college students and their ability with the trait of optimism to approach problems, and handle stress. Optimistic students expect to succeed and do well in their studies around midterm and final time, and as anticipated that perform well. While there are other naturally less optimistic students, who assume to perform poorly, study with that particular mindset and thus perform poorly. Contemporary approaches usually treat optimism as a cognitive characteristic, a goal, an expectation, or a causal attribution (Peterson, C. 2000). Scientists come to the basic conclusions that optimism can be a positive or negative trait depending on the situation, person, environment, and many other competing factors. Real-world examples and research surrounding the definitions of optimism were very similar and did not completely differ too much from one another. The differences may involve regards to social optimism, and optimism as a result of the environment versus the person. Other than these small differentiations many of the definitions were quite similar. Two perspectives seem to fit best the unique qualities associated with optimism, and these perspectives include the Motive Perspective, and the Inheritance and Evolution Perspective. “The motive perspective begins with the idea that the key element in human experience is the motive forces that underlie behavior”(Carver, C., & Scheier M. 2012). Optimism viewed within this personality trait in the ideas regarding human experience being a motive for underlying behavior; an individual is optimistic because experience has taught that individual to behave that way to gain positive effects. The individual could have also have been taught to behave in an un-optimistic way due to past experiences, and negative results. The experiences gained by that individual now affect his or her motives. For example in a study conducted by Sweeny and Shepperd regarding The Cost of Optimism and the Benefits of Pessimism, scientists break down the costs and benefits of optimism. The reader must assume that this study concluded that people might downplay their expectations to avoid the cost of optimism. People are more likely to be pessimistic due to their experiences as humans and preparedness for the worst possible outcome. Moreover, yet people can also be more optimistic due to the reoccurrence of positive outcomes. This theory helps explain “optimism is a goal-directed behavior guided by a hierarchy of closed-loop negative feedback systems” (Sweeny, K., & Shepperd, J. A. 2010). When the feedback system guiding behavior turns intrinsic to that person (Peterson, C. 2000). The Inheritance and Evolution perspective emphasizes the fact that humans evolved across millennia and that human nature (whatever it may be) is deeply rooted in our genes ( Carver, C., & Scheier M. (2012). As far as viewing, optimism in this perspective is people being less pessimistic when it comes to the reoccurrence of positive outcomes, and individuals being more likely to be optimistic regarding their intrinsic endeavors (Peterson, Sheier, and Rauch). Psychologist such as Tiger, Beck, Lazarus, and Taylor “address optimism as a characteristic people possessed” (Peterson, C. (2000). “Our human nature provides a baseline optimism of which individuals show more versus less” (Peterson, C. 2000 p. 46). Treating optimism as an individual difference supports that evolution theory by confirming that all humans did not possess positive traits until conditions presented themselves in which they were useful. These traits explained in a study conducted by Rauch, Schweizer, and Moosbrugger, an “IRT Analysis of the Personal Optimism Scale” was conducted. In the research conducted by these scientists, they discuss the better psychosocial adjustments and health-oriented behavior than pessimists, and this is due to evolution. If people benefitted from the optimism trait in an environment that did not kill it off, the trait continued to be passed on by different genes. This evolutionary trait is here because it served some beneficiary purpose for humans. The trait applies in various situations, when negative and positive decisions, choices, outcomes, or actions are present. When applying optimism to the research, there are also aspects that suggest optimistic people are more persistent in behavior driven by goals. Optimism would have been beneficial to people over evolutionary times. For example, cave dwellers who were optimistic and traveled further into the wild looking for meat and found it, or in the present day, small-time business owners being optimistic and investing in stock and growing into booming businesses. In the case study of Tyler, J. M., & Rosier, the scientists examine Self-Presentation as a Motivational Explanation for Comparative Optimism. The study concluded that “when self-presentational situations involved greater accountability demands, comparative optimism decreased; less optimism, whereas when these situations involved greater accountability demands, comparative optimism increased meaning more optimism” (Tyler, J. M., & Rosier, J. 2009). Compelling evidence was found using this study that comparative optimism may reflect an individual’s goals to self-present a favorable identity image, with the expectancy that accountability pressures constrain efforts.The final study was very educating in regards to the trait optimism and how it differs in individuals. This study was conducted by; Are People Excessive or Judicious in their Egocentrism. It was a modeling approach to understanding bias and accuracy in people’s optimism; the study was conducted by (Windschitl, P. D., Rose, J. P., Stalkfleet, M. T., & Smith, A. R. 2008). This study showed how valuable it was as a human being to be able to judge with some degree of accuracy how one’s skills stack up against peers, and how high their chances of winning are as an individual. Which is a precious skill that has kept people in and out of competition, and helped determine many fight or flight decisions. The causes of optimism were intrinsic, and the level of an individual’s confidence depended on their outlook if one’s outlook was too confident they would overestimate their skills and may strive for impossible challenges due to ignorant expectations of success. If an individual is too pessimistic the individual may over prepare for a task, they are adequately able to handle or forgo tasks because they fear failure.There are so many advantages and disadvantages when covering the trait optimism. A disadvantage can be optimistic bias. When an individual is predicting future events such as health issues, sporting events, or political outcomes, these topics turn intrinsic when the individual becomes overly optimistic. In other words, because the situation now involves high optimism an individual’s narcissistic tendencies tend to emerge, and the individual becomes too optimistic about outcomes (Tyler, J. M., & Rosier, J. 2009). Optimistic tendencies can have effects such as disappointment, the failing of expectations, and can decrease one’s health and well-being. Examples include expectations of a test or the turnout of an athletic event. The outcome was not as expected and the feeling of optimism replaces with the feeling of underachievement, personal resentment, and the questioning of the positive behavior in the first place. (Sweeny, K., & Shepperd, J. A. 2010).On the other hand, optimistic outlooks have been awarded such as the confidence before a test or exam before the future well-doing. Also, the optimistic look at a problem and the invention of a very inventive solution that without that optimistic outlook would not have been possible. An advantage of optimism is in Richard Lazarus’s Positive Denial. “Well being in the wake of adversity as a survival technique” (Peterson, C. (2000). The many advantages of optimism included the general positivity, and the ability to see the good in every situation, person, or event. Optimism as a general trait is that all individuals have to some extent, or lack entirely. Optimism is an individual trait that amounts to a person to some degree and effects their overall personality. Personally, the view of optimism depends on the level in which it is pressed and used. The unrealistic use of optimism can be dangerous not only mentally to a human being, but also physically. Traits are to be used to help or hurt our survival and make us who we are. Optimistic views in moderation with a realistic grasp of reality can translate to an individual that can live a very successful life with fewer downfalls. Everyone can live abundantly. Every person regardless of one’s disabilities, race, culture or geological location can live an abundant life. The meaning of an abundant life merely is to love oneself truly. If a person can indeed live out seven components, they can genuinely enjoy themselves, maintain optimism and indeed live life. The seven essential components to genuinely live life are experiencing joy, being resilient, loving others, receiving love from others, feeling emotions,  passion, and an adequate amount of sleep. These seven components are vital to living the abundant life, but they do not work in isolation from each other. It is essential for the parts to work together. These elements are like gears. At points throughout a person’s life, one of the gears might stop, but as long as the other gears are doing their part, the whole system will keep functioning. A person who is not entirely living will have a network of apparatus that isn’t moving at all or is moving very slowly. The first essential component in maintaining optimism is the ability to feel joy. Joy is an experience of wellbeing in a person’s life. Happiness can be something that a person has no control of feeling, but in most cases, it reinforces positive behavior. Therefore by experiencing joy, a person is more likely to do positive things for themselves and others. Happiness is the basis of many of the positive aspects of life as Abraham Hicks states, “If you began to reach for the feeling of well-being first, everything else would fall into place. If people follow their bliss, they would immediately become tapped into the Pure Positive Essence of who they are” (Hicks, Joy in Your Life). Of course, the feeling of joy is not going to occur all of the time, but a person’s ability and willingness to undergo satisfaction at least some of the time is essential for an abundant life. Joy is connected to many of the other aspects of the abundant life as well. Joy helps in the process of loving others and receiving love from others, joy helps foster resilience, happiness is an emotion, and many people feel joy from pursuing their passions. If a person were not able to experience joy, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for them to live an abundant life. Studies have proven that the absence of pleasure or happiness can lead to, “Being overweight depressed, fatigued, tense, lonely, unmotivated and isolated” (Brown 113). It is tough to live a life full of meaning and love for oneself if a person feels these symptoms all of the time.  The next component in maintaining optimism is resilience. Resilience involves three main components: staying positive in uncertain circumstances, the ability to function adequately even when anxious, and the ability to recover from traumatic events (Shastri). Resilience is critical because life has its challenges, but through resistance, people can move forward and put those problematic circumstances behind them. Through resilience, people can learn how to manage these challenging situations better and even help others in similar predicaments. Of course, resistance does not mean that a person does not feel sad, frustrated, or any other emotions when they go through traumatic or stressful events. It says that regardless of feeling those emotions and experiencing negative things, they can eventually let these negative feelings and experiences go to move on with their life. Resilience has many positive outcomes; one being that after a person has overcome a severe obstacle, they feel “deep satisfaction in life” (Resilience). Resilience also helps create meaning in life. When a person overcomes something contrary, they are much more appreciative of the positives in their lives and who they are as a person.Without resilience, whenever something wrong happens in someone’s life, his or her reaction would be just to give up. Therefore the other essential components of their life would cease to exist. Every person has different tribulations they face throughout their life. It is crucial for people to work through these events, but after a certain amount of time, it is necessary for people to move on with their life. A quote from the movie Moulin Rouge offers excellent insight into the next two components, “The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and become loved in return” (Baron, 2001). These next two components go hand in hand. The first is the ability to give love, and the second is the ability to receive love. The ability to give love is an essential component of living an abundant life because love is almost like a nonverbal language, and through love, people can connect with one another. Love is, “a universal emotion that has become the basis of marriage and family for many societies” (Braxton-Davis, 2002). Love gives people a sense of belonging, and as Maslow theorized in his Hierarchy of Needs; a feeling that one belongs is essential for human existence (Cherry). Giving love to others helps people realize how to love him or herself, and how to receive love from others. If a person is not able to give love to others or feel love for others, they most likely don’t have much respect for themselves either. Therefore they are not living an abundant life. It is important to realize that the ability to give love does not mean that a person has to love every single person they come in contact with; it just means they must have the ability to like at least one person. There are very few people that don’t love at least one other person. If a person is not able to give love, it is tough for others to receive love in return. The next component is the ability to receive love from others. Receiving love from others is vital to living an abundant life because by receiving love from others, a person learns to respect him or herself even more. Showing love can be merely showing a smile, a kind word, or a hug among the many other things. It is a deep connection that a person feels with another person. These relationships are vital to the survival of people. When people go through tough times, it is essential for them to receive the love and support from others. This love and support will enable them to heal from painful experiences (Hartwell-Walker, 2002) eventually. Also, it has been proven that when a person experiences a stressful event the love and support from others helps dwarf the adverse effects of particular circumstances (Cohen & McKay, 1984) (Luo, 1997, p. 618). When a person is not able to receive love from others, it can be difficult for them to feel supported through tough times, and therefore their resilience is impacted as well. When a person is not able to receive love from others, it can be complicated for them to give respect to others as well, and it can be difficult for them to love themselves. When these components are not part of the system, it is impossible to live the abundant life. Emotions are another vital component of abundant life. Emotions drive people to make decisions and to get invested in aspects of their life. Emotions also motivate people to take action whether the feelings are positive or negative (Cherry). Even negative emotions are good for people. Emotions cause reactions in people. For example, when someone feels the emotion of fear, they are likely to either fight or flight. They will either fight what is causing them the fear or distance themselves from what is causing them the anxiety. The ability to comprehend emotions protects people from getting hurt in many situations. If a person sees something that angers them, they are more likely to take action to change whatever is making them upset. Emotions also help people connect and understand each other (Cherry). When someone is feeling sad, others who have felt unhappy in the past can relate to that person. Without emotions, a person’s life would feel the same all of the time. There would be no variation in feelings day to day. If a person does not feel emotions, they would not be motivated to do anything with their life or to establish relationships with others. If a person is unable to make connections with other people or not motivated to do anything with their life, they would have a difficult time living a meaningful life, and therefore they would not live an abundant life. Sir Ken Robinson states in his novel The Element, “finding one’s element is essential to one’s well-being and ultimate success” (Robinson, 2009). Robinson is referring to passion when he states element. Love is fundamental to living an abundant life because passion drives people to find meaning in their life. People find meaning in very diverse ways. Some passions include another person, a job, family, or the environment among other things. Passion evokes strong emotions in people and makes a person feel fulfilled and gives direction to a person’s life (Why passion is essential). If people did not have passion, they would not have a reason to get out of bed in the morning to do anything. Passion drives many aspects of life. People do many things they might not like because they are fulfilling their desire. For instance, a mother is passionate about her family. She wakes up in the morning to get her children ready for school, takes them to school, goes to work at a job that she does not really like, then picks her kids up from school, makes them dinner, and puts them to bed. She did many things throughout the day that she did not like to do, but because of her passion for her children, she did these things. If she were not excited about her children, then she would be much less likely to do all of these things to care for them. Passion is something that drives so much of the human life, and it has its connections in many different aspects of life. Without love, society would not function because no one would be motivated to take action or do anything meaningful with his or her life. Sleep is the most basic factor of living an abundant life, but arguably one of the most critical elements. Rest is a huge contributor to the condition and welfare of all individuals (Wells & Vaughn 2012, p. 233). Sleep is vital for many reasons. First, it is essential because the body needs rest and to regain energy secreted throughout the day. Humans take in so many things through their senses throughout the day, and the brain needs sleep to give itself a break and to process all that it has taken in. Without sleep, humans have a lower threshold for stress, reduced memory, a harder time focusing, lack of positive thoughts, deficiency in social situations, and less ingenuity and originality (Matta). To live an abundant life and a life full of meaning, a human needs to sleep at least twenty-eight hours a week or at least four hours a night. This minimum is critical, most likely a person who only sleeps four hours per night will still experience some of the symptoms above, but as long as a person gets at least four hours of sleep a night or twenty-eight hours per week, they will be able to live an abundant life. As psychologist Martin Seligman said, “Positive thinking is the notion that if you think good thoughts, things will work out well. Optimism is the feeling of thinking things will be well and be hopeful.”Word Count:3,557