Why Optimism  in "Measuring What Matters"

In response to the Australian Treasury's Second Round of Consultation, we asked our roundtable why you would include optimism in the "Measuring What Matters" Budget Document.  

(See Our Community Briefing Document)

Here are some of the answers sent through prior to the roundtable:

Amanda Noz:  "Because optimism can be taught and learnt and it is a foundational skill. A business saying is , “What is measured matters”. So if it is important, then it should be included as a measurable objective. Another analogy is treating the underlying problem versus the symptoms. Infusing optimism and measuring that metric will have a positive and lasting effect on symptomatic problems because a foundation is being laid."

"Where there is focus - there are results! Formal metrics are paramount, and optimism is a keystone for building a healthy, happy and resilient society and economy."

 "A measure of Optimism underpins so many key elements of wellbeing and happiness."

 "We need a measure of the disposition of our society, not just its products. Intent, ambition and optimism are key to the long-term life and vibrancy of our country."

 "It is self-evident that optimism is a fundamental basis for aspirational attitude, the basis for continuing achievement and for happiness or contentment. Furthermore, it is a necessity for positive human interaction that contributes to inclusivity, cohesion, and community spirit."

 "Investment, innovation and initiatives all flow when Optimism is high."

 "Hope and Optimism are vital to understanding the wellbeing of our Nation. It underpins our appetite to think positively about the future and invest our time, energy and resources into implementing ideas that make Australia a better place to live and thrive."

 "Optimism is about mood, hope, meaning and mindset. We need some psychological and emotional indicators for the general population so we can also report on positive aspects of how society's wellbeing is."

 "It reflects the level of hope in society - and without hope, there is only disenchantment, anger, frustration and unrest."

 "Australia is a young country with great natural assets, and being optimistic is a key measure for capturing the essence of what it is to be Australian."

 "Measuring optimism provides deeper insights into human behaviour and designs that foster better outcomes."


 "Because if the Government has a wellbeing policy that is systematically evaluated, we can have optimism that is sincerely focused on the population's wellbeing."

"The opposite of Optimism is Despair. Given the challenges from the Chinese Communist régime to our sovereignty & existence as a nation, we need to be sure in ourselves & have well-grounded hope (Optimism) for the future of our children & grandchildren."

 "Optimism implies enthusiasm and aspiration."

 "Optimism is a foundation for many aspects of wellbeing, such as happiness, resilience, health and prosperity.

 "A frame of mind can change everything. Evidence proves pessimistic outlooks can negatively impact general health and wellbeing."

 "Optimism should be part of everyone's DNA. Even though daily news is focussing on a lot of negatives, there are so many people doing so many great things which should be focussed and highlighted more to bring optimism into the everyday life of people.

 "Optimism is fundamental to success. It's a belief that we can make a difference; how is success achieved without this underlying belief?

 "Optimism is a tendency to expect good things in the future. Optimism can be seen as an indicator aggregating a range of positive characteristics, including mental and physical health, quality of life, Purpose, Risk Perception, Social conditions, etc. So from a public policy perspective, it can be a meaningful indicator of wellbeing, e.g. policy success."

"Because no vision for the future can exist without optimism."

 "Optimism is a way of thinking - not a government "objective". Government must provide realistic policies and outcomes based on the themes above (among many)."

 "Because we need to look forward, we need to be positive. The economy is bleak, world politics is bleak, the news is bleak, and negative emotional states are becoming more common. Positivity and joyfulness are important to balance these."

 "Due to optimism's significance in people's wellbeing and outlook on life."

 "Optimism and hope are such important elements to achieving wellbeing."

 "People need to believe that these elements are attainable, and a positive and optimistic mindset is vital to living a physically and mentally healthy life."

 "It will show the country and the world what Australia is doing to support individuals and communities."

 "Optimism underpins mental health and wellbeing."

 "Optimism is a vital contributor to wellbeing."

 "A positive mindset allows for opportunities to be seen."

 "Events and situations can be bad, but to believe that they could get better and that one can contribute to that is very important."

 "Optimism is about satisfaction and confidence to create a future."

 "Optimism represents what positivity and attitude can contribute to personal wellbeing. The mind is a significant determinant of the body's overall state of wellbeing beyond external factors."

 "Optimism is necessary to underpin the other themes. Without optimism and ideas, it's very difficult for society to progress."

 "Our young people and, in fact, all Australians need to be optimistic about the future. Optimism is about living life to the full and seeing the possibilities rather than being weighed down by negativity."

 "Optimism is a fantastic wellbeing indicator of mental health and future outlook."

"No one can perform at their highest output level without hope and optimism. Optimism is the cornerstone of all success."

Optimism is a beneficial and contagious state of being.

 "In choosing between optimism and pessimism, optimism creates a constructive and solution focussed mindset. Optimism builds energy rather than detracting; Optimism is thinking there is always a solution and opportunity to improve - that is how optimism builds wellbeing in individuals and communities. "

 "Optimism determines the outlook of the people. Your outlook determines your reality. Mental health is more important now after covid lockdowns - Victoria needs to re-emerge from the darkness - especially as we head into tough economic times."

 "Optimism gives a reason and hope, substance and foundation, the purpose for pursuing wellbeing."

 "Optimism underpins effort and commitment to the community to create transformative improvements to wellbeing."

 "Optimism has been a core value of Australia, and I believe it is in decline. Providing optimism for the future is one of the most important legacies we can leave our Children. We need to help them to believe in their future and the future of the Nation."

 "History shows problems are solved by human ingenuity. We must be optimistic that this continues into the future."

 "Without Optimism, Australians are unlikely to imagine a positive future.

"A positive outlook breeds a positive result."

 "Talking the ecosystem down all the time becomes self-fulfilling and generates a vicious cycle."

 "Because optimism is a key driver in providing an impetus for change, growth and development

 "Optimism is a part of positive psychology, and the research clearly shows how important it is when talking about proactive approaches to wellbeing."

 "Because at the moment, the lack of bipartisan politics and strong leadership is causing bureaucratic executive Government to run the country, resulting in higher taxes and less incentive for middle Australia. This is causing disillusionment and disincentive to work hard for the collective benefit of the country."

 "The outlook of the people of the Nation has a direct effect on their day-to-day lifestyle and wellbeing. Positive citizens/residents will deliver positive outcomes a lot more easily. Optimistic citizens will have a positive impact on other citizens opening the doors to new possibilities."

 "I would include optimism in the Healthy Theme."

"Outlook on life."

"GDP just isn't the right measure. Stop letting capitalist economists tell us what success is - the general population couldn't care less. A good government will help its people maintain or improve quality of life over time... this has gone backwards over the past 50 years because we've been focusing on the wrong measures."

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