Another issue, proposed by Peterson (2000), is that optimism should not just be considered as a cognitive characteristic; in fact, according to Carver and Scheier (1990), it has both emotional and motivational components. For example, optimism doesn’t only mean that we ‘think’ optimistically; it also has an effect on how motivated we become, and this leads to feelings of happiness. On the whole, researchers seem to regard these motivations and emotions as outcomes that are separate from optimism. But we may need to consider such questions as ‘how does optimism feel?’ and ‘is it a feeling of happiness, joy and contentment?’ In terms of motivation, optimism is linked to perseverance but is specifically associated with a good choice of goals that lead to attainment (Peterson, 2000). However, not all individuals have the same goals or give the same merit to the same goals.

Is optimism required for all goals?

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Are some goals not worth the ‘optimistic’ effort?

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