I listened to an interesting interview with Joan Borysenko recently. Actually, it was a 60-minute interview and I probably listened to 20 minutes of it before my "little friend," as STM calls him, woke up and started barking orders for the day.
Anyway. In those 20 minutes I did get a few great tidbits. Joan spoke of what she calls "stress hardiness," and what it is that makes some people hardy against stress, and some not so much. She says the three things people that are stress hardy all have in common is the three C's:
1) Challenge - when a situation arises, they see it as a challenge, and one they are up to
2) Commitment - they persevere until they solve the problem
3) Control - they realize and accept that which they have control over, and that which they don't
Conversely, the three hallmarks of a pessimist are the three P's:
1) Pervasive - your negative thoughts seep and spread rampantly - one negative thought takes off in 10 directions - not that I'd happen to know anything about this
2) Permanent - you believe whatever it is that's the problem, is not only a problem, but a permanent one
3) Personal - it's all about you
I can think of so many people that are optimists and so many that are pessimists, but like with anything, it's a continuum, we are all somewhere along that continuum, some just on one end or the other in an obvious way. Lots of us lean one way or another but can dance around on that continuum back and forth, depending on the day, the situation, the triggers, the baggage, and about a million other variables.