Tag Archive for 'ottimismo'

Goodbye to the explosive and unforgettable Tina Turner

A definitive explanation of what should be meant by resilience was provided by Tina Turner in May 2018, declaring to Marie Claire:

“People think my life has been tough, but I think it’s been a wonderful journey. The older you get, the more you realize that it’s not what happen but how you deal with it.”

On days when you’re feeling a little down, hearing Tina Turner is really a breath of explosive energy good for the soul. Everything about her conveyed strength, starting with her voice, her movements, her music. Her life represented the power of optimism despite the difficulties. Despite the separation of her parents and the repeated violence she suffered from her first husband to name but a few.

Optimism as evident in the lyrics of “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”

Out of the ruins

Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation (the last generation, generation)
We are the ones they left behind
And, I wonder when we are ever gonna change, change
Living under the fear, ’til nothing else remains
We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
Looking for something, we can rely on
There’s gotta be something better out there
Ooh, love and compassion
Their day is coming (coming)
All else are castles built in the air
And, I wonder when we are ever gonna change, change
Living under the fear, ’til nothing else remains
All the children say
We don’t need another hero
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
So, what do we do with our lives
We leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a light or end in the dark?
Give it all or nothing
We don’t need another hero (hero, hero)
We don’t need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
All the children say
We don’t need another hero (we don’t need another hero)
We don’t need to know the way home, ooh
All we want is life beyond Thunderdome

The Significance of Grit: A Conversation with Angela Lee Duckworth

Resilience, grit and optimism are important psychological dimensions for any athlete who wants to cultivate his or her talents.

The following are the thoughts of Angela Lee Duckworth a leading expert in this area of study.

It’s all about one specific definition of resilience, which is optimism—appraising situations without distorting them, thinking about changes that are possible to make in your life. But I’ve heard other people use resilience to mean bouncing back from adversity, cognitive or otherwise. And some people use resilient specifically to refer to kids who come from at-risk environments who thrive nevertheless.

What all those definitions of resilience have in common is the idea of a positive response to failure or adversity. Grit is related because part of what it means to be gritty is to be resilient in the face of failure or adversity. But that’s not the only trait you need to be gritty.

In the scale that we developed in research studies to measure grit, only half of the questions are about responding resiliently to situations of failure and adversity or being a hard worker. The other half of the questionnaire is about having consistent interests—focused passions—over a long time. That doesn’t have anything to do with failure and adversity. It means that you choose to do a particular thing in life and choose to give up a lot of other things in order to do it. And you stick with those interests and goals over the long term. So grit is not just having resilience in the face of failure, but also having deep commitments that you remain loyal to over many years.

One of the first studies that we did was at West Point Military Academy, which graduates about 25 percent of the officers in the U.S. Army. Admission to West Point depends heavily on the Whole Candidate Score, which includes SAT scores, class rank, demonstrated leadership ability, and physical aptitude. Even with such a rigorous admissions process, about 1 in 20 cadets drops out during the summer of training before their first academic year. We were interested in how well grit would predict who would stay.

So we had cadets take a very short grit questionnaire in the first two or three days of the summer, along with all the other psychological tests that West Point gives them. And then we waited around until the end of the summer. Of all the variables measured, grit was the best predictor of which cadets would stick around through that first difficult summer. In fact, it was a much better predictor than the Whole Candidate Score, which West Point at that time thought was their best predictor of success. The Whole Candidate Score actually had no predictive relationship with whether you would drop out that summer (although it was the best predictor of later grades, military performance, and physical performance).




Elderly well-being: optimism and perceiving oneself younger

Daphna Magda Kalira, Amit Shrirab, Aya Ben-Eliezerd, Noemi Heymane, Inna Shugaevd, and Oleg Zaslavskyh. Feeling Younger, Rehabilitating Better: Reciprocal and Mediating Effects between Subjective Age and Functional Independence in Osteoporotic Fracture and Stroke Patients, Gerontology, Published online: May 25, 2022


The current study aimed to find reciprocal effects between subjective age and functional independence during rehabilitation from osteoporotic fractures and stroke and whether these effects can be mediated by indicators of well-being. Methods:Participants were 194 older adults (mean age = 78.32 years, SD = 7.37; 64.8% women) who were hospitalized following an osteoporotic fracture or stroke. Participants completed measures of subjective age and well-being (i.e., optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction) several times during rehabilitation. Functional Independence Measure (FIM) was completed by nursing personnel at admission and at discharge. Results:Younger subjective age at admission predicted higher FIM scores at discharge. The reverse effect, that is, of FIM scores at admission on subjective age at discharge, was nonsignificant. Optimism during hospitalization mediated the effect of subjective age on subsequent FIM scores while self-esteem and life satisfaction did not. Sensitivity analyses further showed that the effect of subjective age on FIM was significant for both fracture and stroke patients. Discussion: The findings highlight the effect of subjective age on rehabilitation outcomes among osteoporotic fractures and stroke patients and suggest several potential mechanisms behind this effect. Rehabilitation outcomes following osteoporotic fractures or strokes could improve if subjective age and an optimistic outlook are taken into consideration.

In summary: an optimistic mindset and perceiving oneself as younger are predictors of better recovery after fractures and strokes in older people.

The transient of life

The story of Eriksen, the football player who was collapsed and fell to the ground yesterday during Sweden-Finland, reminds us that everything can happen from one moment to the next but probably it will not.He reminds us of the transience of life and on this theme Freud wrote a short text titled Caducity and explains us the value of optimism, a concept that he have never used. Optimism means giving value to the transience of everything that is beautiful and perfect.

One cannot live a life as if it were always the last day but neither can one indulge in despair because the wonders of nature wither and we cannot be eternally young.

“I contest, however, to the pessimistic poet that the caducity of beauty implies its debasement. On the contrary, it increases its value! The value of caducity is a value of rarity in time.The limitation of the possibility of enjoyment increases its value.” (Freud)

We must learn from these events and our personal events that they must be accepted, they remind us of the importance of our feelings and the richness of our lives.

Never give up in face of the evidence

The world is full of examples that should serve to convince us that in any situation it is possible to find a solution to solve a problem or get out of a difficulty. How is it then that many people do not look for these solutions? They think instead that there are no solutions and that the examples given do not concern them but are more related to luck and chance or to the particular qualities of a person who, because of his individual characteristics, has found a solution that only he was able to implement. This is the interpretation often used to describe how a champion of sport came out of a situation judged impossible by others. The exceptional character of his/her condition, the talent, serves as justification for all those who think that, not being champions, they could never get out of that problem.

In my opinion, the problem refers to the way of thinking used by an individual. When something goes wrong, for example a bad grade at school, a badly lost race or an argument at work, what is my reaction? Do I think it is someone’s fault? Do I think I wasn’t able to do the job? Was I unlucky?

It’s important to know your own way of assessing performance.

We know that pessimists and when we are depressed, we tend to think in this way, which has the effect of devaluing personal skills and reduces the possibility of committing to finding solutions. Optimism characterised by a superficial approach to difficulties is also harmful and of little help. Thinking about succeeding is not in itself a help to the solution.

Instead, the optimism that goes hand in hand with commitment and an awareness of the difficulty of what you are about to face must be constantly trained and pursued. Only by combining these three aspects, maximum commitment, awareness of the difficulty and optimism, will it be possible to find the appropriate solution to our problem.

Manuel Bortuzzo show again his optimism after the tragedy

Manuel Bortuzzo, young talent of Italian swimming, injured on 3 February by a gunshot in the Axa district of Rome, tells how his life has changed. “How do I see myself in 10 years? I hope to stand up. To look forward you don’t have to look back, my life is always the same. There is a logistical problem but I am the same as always. I could beat my head and not be myself anymore”


The winning athletes’ main competences

The psychological skills the athletes must show in competition and in training are often difficult to list, because the risk is to do a very long and too generic list. Nevertheless, today I would like to try to identify, from my point of view,  the skills that can represent milestones in the athletes’ sport careers.

  • Self-control – it means knowing what are the behaviors to put in place to address the competition requests. The self-control requires respect for opponents; at the same time the athletes must be the leader of themselves, to overcome the difficulties posed by the races and opponents with the aim of providing the best performance.
  • Readiness for action – the athletes are persons oriented to act and therefore they must be ready to kick a ball, pulling a shot, to run in a precise rhythm, to anticipate opponents, to start rather than conclude effectively a race and so on. Readiness goes with high levels of situational awareness: the athletes have to know what to do at any given time and do it at their best.
  • Toughness and resiliency – I did not completely understand the distinction between these two psychological concepts, but I believe the athletes should continue to do the best even when they are tired, when all seems lost, during the decisive moments, at the end of the race, when they feel confused but know they have prepared an action plan for those moments.
  • Attention – Robert Nideffer said the attention is the only important thing in the decisive moments. I agree and, that is the reason, I consider it as the ability allowing to lead the mental commitment. The athletes have to know what to look for, knowing when to use a broad attentional style oriented toward the environment rather than a narrow attentional style, more focused on very few external factors. Without proper attention they cannot understand what is going to happen and to move in advance.
  • Optimism – The explanation of the performance results is an important factor, because it determines the expectation in relation to the future competitions. Humans are often engaged to explain their positive and negative results. It is therefore essential, the athletes develop an optimistic perception of their performances, because if they explain the positive results in term of luck or lack of competent opponents is unlikely they improve and gain a winning mind.

Active life at World Master Games

We have to learn from Rune Haraldson (photo), Don Grenville and Michiko Hamuro respectively 95, 90 and 94 years old athletes at the World Masters Games in Turin to have an active lifestyle and not to be dominated by the idea to be old now for “these things “. We have to take their optimism and begin to believe that it is possible for us. There are sports for all ages, starting with the simple walk, and these athletes must help us as inspiration.

World Master Games è l'ora dei novantenni

Why are Kenyans the best long distance runners?

In recent years, the 25 fastest marathon runners were Kenyans, too many to wonder how this is possible and once again the debate is as always between genetics and environment.

Marathon runner and manager of a Kenyan athlete, Tom Payn attaches great importance to the mental component of the running and so responds to : “The main thing I learned from the Kenyans regards their mental attitude, the way they run, they are relaxed and even if they have a negative race immediately forget it, thinking I’ll win next time and beat the record. They are very confident and show an eternal optimism about the next race.” The same concept is something that is reported by Boniface Kiprop Kongin, the athlete he coaches, which says “to have success you have to be optimistic and patient.”

Interview and video on Guardian

Imagine to win

Imagine winning helps you win. This is not rhetoric, it is what the great champions say. Usain Bolt said: “In my head I never had any doubt that it would end like this.”  The same did  Jessica Rossi, shooting,  again the day before the race she trained imaging to win and to do the world record. It  has been repeatedly demonstrated by studies in psychology of performance that optimism is a cause of success. Being optimistic means to be convinced that with the right focus and determination to win,  it is there waiting for you. Mood that usually have not access those athletes who do not climb on the podium, because before and during the race they have not this feeling with their performance. This mood is certainly not the result of the hazard but it is possible to train it and who win the Olympics means that he/she has trained this skill more than others.