There is a world of difference between extreme optimism and wishful thinking. Wishful thinkers set unrealistic expectations. They rely on random good luck. Those who play the lottery are an example of wishful thinkers. The odds of winning the lottery are enormous and you have no control over the outcome. Wishful thinkers outsource success to outside forces.
Those who possess extreme optimism, on the other hand, do not rely on random luck. They manufacture their own luck. Extreme optimists have only one expectation – to never quit, no matter how difficult the success journey is. Winston Churchill is an example of an extreme optimist. His “Never Surrender Speech” best describes the thinking of extreme optimists:
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender.”
Entrepreneurs do not believe their journey will be easy. They expect it to be long, hard and filled with setbacks. But they also believe they will survive that journey and, in the end, succeed. Extreme optimism means you will never, ever quit, no matter what life throws at you. Extreme optimists believe that success hides behind a mountain of mistakes and failures. They believe that the journey towards success is all about persisting and overcoming every obstacle life puts in their way. The greatest asset every successful entrepreneur has is, for this reason, extreme optimism.