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Research at The Centre for  Optimism


The fundamental research by the Centre for Optimism is asking people like you one-by-one, "What makes you optimistic?"

We have asked that question of over 12000 people from Presidents and Prime Ministers to people living in Indian villages.  We publish those answers on this website, through our books, through social media, public events including webinars and in workshops.  Those answers are published across this website but a good place to start is "Optimists on their Optimism."

You are welcome to take our 5-minute "What makes You Optimistic?" Survey.  You could also use it with your organisation or community as there are instant global comparisons and feedback as they fill out the survey.


What do thousands of people answering the question, "What makes you Optimistic?" look like.

Recently we have been fortunate to have two High School Work Experience Students, Charlie and Oscar, rework our word maps into models of simplicity.

 Oscars Cicle Mindmap












Oscars Mind map


What Sort of Optimism?

Globally,"realistic optimism" is the top choice followed by "resilient optimism";"natural optimism"and"purosefuloptimism." There is quite some variation in groups with farmers and entrepreneurs gravitating to natural optimism.  

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What supports your optimistic outlook? 


We ask, "What supports your optimistic outlook?" and offer a series of options derived from our first global survey and the answers we have received from thousands of people.    

The top answers in order are Mindset; Life Experience; Family, Most people are trying to do good; Gratitude; Faith in God; Gratitude; Faith in Humanity; Hope; Science; Young People; Things will work out in the end; Belief; Friends; The Future; History; Medical Science; Good Government; and, The Economy.

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What has helped keep you optimistic in these difficult times? 

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We asked, "What has helped keep you optimistic in these difficult times?" The top answers so far: Expressing Gratitude; Keeping the company of optimistic people; Regular Positive Conversations; Reducing your consumption of "news"; Smiling at People; Yoga and Exercise; Laughing More; Meditation and/or Mindfulness; Sharing stories of Hope and Optimism; Listen to Positive Music; Visualisation and daydreaming; Upbeat Greetings; and, Asking people "what makes them optimistic?" 

Connect With Us

We love to connect with everyone who is ready to open up and share their optimisim.