You know them…those people who are always smiling and who always seem to have something good to point out about the world? (Yeah, I know, they can be very annoying, right?) Well, it turns out that optimism like many other traits is both inherited from our ancestors BUT also nurtured (or squelched) by the environment (people, situations) that we grow up in. It can become a habit early in life to only see the “downside” of things, but ignore the potential upside. How you choose to see a glass that is filled half way is basically a choice, and your approach to many situations will be determined by your ability to view things more optimistically. Because pessimism pretty much shuts down any motivation for continuing to persevere when things become difficult. And, in life, no matter whether you are an athlete or not, things ALWAYS become difficult at some point.