Is Optimism Key to Achieving Your Dreams?

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Many young people are told to set goals for the following year, usually around the time of New Year’s Eve, or the beginning of a new school year. They are beseeched to try and reach for the sky and told that all their dreams are not impossible, but may be improbable and that they only have to work hard enough to claim for themselves the rewards of success. Moreover, they may claim that optimism is the defining factor between one overcoming adversity and one failing miserably to achieve one’s dreams. However, I believe that optimism is not the key to achieving the dreams one may imagine; rather, it is one of the many factors that contribute to success.

People may say that being optimistic is beneficial regardless of the level of optimism. That is correct, but only to a certain point. Research suggests that being positive helps people both mentally and physically. In fact, one study suggests that optimistic people have less of a risk of heart disease compared to others (Boehm). However, when people start becoming too optimistic, it can have negative implications. According to Merriam-Webster, optimism is defined as “an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome”. This definition suggests that people who are overly optimistic may believe that their ideas will go exactly as planned. As a result, they are “less inclined to create that plan B for things going wrong” (Bruce). For example, if a person runs a lemonade stand, then suddenly has competition, if he or she relies only on optimism, the individual may not see the urge to make a better product. This will eventually lead to a business not doing as well as its competition. These types of optimists do not create plan Bs because they do not think they will require one, thus showing that possessing too much optimism can be detrimental to fulfilling one’s dreams.

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Although optimism can be a useful trait when trying to achieve success, it is not entirely necessary. Instead, the key to opening the doors of success is made up of four main ingredients: hard work, determination, empathy, and creativity. Each of these elements are critical to achieve one’s goals.

Hard work is the power to make things happen. Successful people know that hard work is vital because dreams often take years and even a lifetime to fulfill. Without hard work, one would be very behind, causing unwanted events to occur. There were and still are plenty of people out there who work hard to get good at something. For example, Mozart was not born knowing how to play the piano and how to compose music. He started taking piano lessons with his father from the early age of 4. Not only do musicians work hard, people across all subject matters work diligently, such as the late Kobe Bryant. He practiced three hours before everyone else, even when he had a cast on. As a result, people achieve their dreams by working hard and continuing to work hard throughout the entire process.

Determination is another essential factor because it drives individuals to do hard work and motivates them to fulfill a goal. All successful people experience failure at some point or another during their lives, and they must rely on determination to continue in spite of their setbacks. Without determination, one would have a very hard time trying to reach the dream or goal in mind. When Mozart was composing, he was determined to get a piece done, and he did. Kobe Bryant was determined to be good, to be one of the best, and he succeeded because he was determined to succeed. Likewise, one should be determined to succeed, and then apply hard work to the determination to get the perfect combination to achieve one’s dream.

However, one cannot just have hard work and determination to achieve a goal. The third crucial quality is empathy, which is one of the most precious traits that humankind has ever learned. Having empathy allows one to encompass and love oneself, people, and diverse cultures, which ultimately helps individuals, surrounding people, and societies to improve and grow stronger. Finally, creativity is important because it allows individuals to develop new solutions to both individual and global problems that may arise.

When trying to achieve a dream, individuals should not entirely rely on optimism as the key to unlock the door. Instead, they should rely upon four key factors: hard work, determination, empathy, and creativity. These factors will enable a person to be successful with one’s dreams as well as everyday life in general.

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Is Optimism Key to Achieving Your Dreams? (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Is Optimism Key to Achieving Your Dreams?” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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Is Optimism Key to Achieving Your Dreams? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2024 Jun 16]. Available from:

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