The Process of Overcoming Difficulties and Gaining Happiness by Realistic Optimists – Relationship between Well-Being and Realistic Optimism


Objective: This study examines how the people with realistic optimistic view overcome difficulties and obtain well-being and also examine how they perceive well-being. Method: Initially a questionnaire survey was conducted on 17 correspondence students aged above 60 using realistic optimism scale. 8 participants who scored high in the questionnaire survey were chosen for the interview. Data was analyzed using the modified grounded theory approach (M-GTA). Results: As a result of the analysis, two categories, well-being and realistic optimism, were extracted and the following sub-categories and concepts were extracted for each. For well-being, four sub-categories were extracted: "self-affirmation," "important relationship with others," "meaning of life," and "other happiness factors." For realistic optimism, the four sub-categories were extracted: "future-orientation," "flexibility," "will and courage," and "resilience." Discussion: It was found that respondents with a sense of higher well-being possess many of subordinate concepts of well-being and realistic optimism and these subordinate concepts are mutually related. The result shows that the participant were not born optimist. When they encounter difficulties, they suffer, feel pain like ordinary people and also they took time to overcome the difficulties. However, all the participants received encouragement and advice from their friends and seniors and did not escape from difficulties. The result also showed that realistic optimism is related to "human strength", and that strength has been formed through various experiences. Common factor among those who answered “Yes” to the question “Are you happy?” was that when they encountered difficulties, they responded with "future-orientation," "flexibility," "strong will," and "resilience."

Author Information
Aneesah Nishaat, Soka University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2021
Stream: General Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon