During turbulent times like we’ve seen over the past year, optimism is critical to our health and well being. Optimistic thinking is also a core skill of Emotional Intelligence. And bringing hope and seeing possibilities has long been a big part of what defines a strong leader regardless of his or her formal authority or position.

Here are a few insightful thoughts on this critical topic:

“Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.”
Our daughter Vanessa’s favorite philosophy

“The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game. They just ran out of time.”
Vincent Thomas Lombardi (1913 – 1970), American football coach

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968), American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement

“This is the art of courage: to see things as they are and still believe that the victory lies not with those who avoid the bad, but those who taste, in living awareness, every drop of the good.”
Victoria Lincoln (1905 – 1981), “The Art of Courage,” Vogue

“Never think of the consequences of failing, you will always think of negative results. Think only positive thoughts and your mind will gravitate towards those thoughts!”
Michael Jordan, retired athlete called by the National Basketball Association “the greatest basketball player of all time”; failed to make his high school varsity basketball team in his sophomore year

“Optimism (is)…an inner resource – the ability to believe that times may be rough but that, with renewed effort, they’ll improve, that failure and success are to a great degree states of mind.”
Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book, The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success