“For myself I am an optimist, it does not seem to be much use being anything else”- Winston Churchill
"Learned optimism" is part of emotional intelligence. Resilience, for instance, (an EQ competency) means being able to bounce back from setbacks, losses and defeats and still retain hope and good spirits -- in other words, remaining optimistic.
It means not attributing bad or ambivalent things as "personal, permanent, and pervasive." This means, if she doesn't answer your email, DON'T THINK it's because she doesn't like you (personal), that no woman ever will (permanent), and/or that you have this sort of rejection in all areas (pervasive). Think instead that, like all the rest of us, she may be busy or having troubles with her computer. Or think about the fireflies outside!
We consier optimism to be the FACILITATOR of Emotional Intelligence -- because if you don't think you can do it, why would you even try?
In the new training program the Army is instigating (see post below), they will start teaching soldiers how to change their thinking, to build resilience (and stress tolerance). For instance, if they call home and their wife doesn't answer, don't immediately go to, "She must be out with another man."
Think of all the times you fast-forward to something that is probably unlikely AND makes you sick. Working with your own self-talk is part of emotional intelligence.