Two dogs were put into two different mazes, one maze had an exit point, and the other maze had none. The dog with no exit point, after trying for a while gave up and sat in a corner.

The dog in the maze with an exit point, came out after some effort.

After some time, the dog in the maze with no exit was taken out,  along with the dog who had been placed in the maze with an exit,  after some time they were placed again in two separate mazes, this time both the mazes had exits. The dog, which had experienced being in the maze with no exit, made no attempt to come out. Whereas the dog with the experience of being in the maze with an exit, immediately got busy trying to find the exit. Soon he was out and free again, while the other dog, in-spite of being in a maze which had an exit remained trapped, for he made no effort.

After some time the “trapped dog” was taken out and along with the free dog, were put in a same maze with an exit. The free dog immediately got busy running here and there in search of an exit. The “trapped dog” seeing the free dog, also got excited and starting moving around and an amazing thing happened, this time the “trapped dog” found the exit first, and the free dog followed the “trapped dog” to freedom.

We all can learn from the above anecdote. Many of us may on occasions learn or develop a tendency of becoming pessimistic. Unless we seek the company of optimistic people, we will remain being “trapped” in our pessimism.

Optimistic people achieve more, have better health and enjoy life, whereas pessimistic people have given up, suffer from depression and don’t enjoy life.

When I was young, often I would hear from people that one should look at people who are worse off than oneself and take solace in it. Over the years I have realized that this is rather a pessimistic way of thinking and living. An optimistic view would be to look at people who at one time may have been in a worse of situation than oneself and overtime have done very well by doing things that enabled them to overcome their challenges.

Malcolm Gladwell, the author of great books such as the Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink has another book David vs. Goliath. The major premise of the book is that people with disadvantages are in an advantageous position, if only they were to learn what strategy to adopt and to implement.  In-order for us to identify the right strategy, one has to practice optimism.

Countries such as Japan, Korea and Germany have done amazing well since the end of World War II because they turned their disadvantageous situation through optimism. Similarly companies like Toyota, Hyundai, and Samsung have done very well, where as GM, a mighty company at one time, succumbed to the seduction of arrogance of being strong.

The resurrection of Apple, is also a good example of what optimism can do. I just want to add that optimism without hard work and effort is fantasizing.

I wish all the readers an amazing year ahead.