You can supposedly tell a lot about a person based on how they see a glass of water. If someone says ‘half-empty,’ they are considered pessimistic, while a response of ‘half-full’ indicates a positive personality.

Does that mean ‘half-empty’ people are always unhappy? Of course not. And do ‘half-full’ people enjoy perfect lives? Most likely, no. Life isn’t as clean and clear as a glass of H2O, and besides, one response to a personality test does not reflect our overall worldview.

However optimism is a quality, which –like happiness, hopefulness, and lovingness – anyone can choose to adopt. Here are some good reasons to start thinking about the glass as ‘half-full’…

Happiness – Optimism reflects a daily philosophy of hopefulness – and where hope exists, the heart finds happiness too. As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Longevity – Optimistic people tend to live longer. According to research, people with healthy attitudes generally experience better lifetime physical health and quicker recoveries from serious health issues.

Productivity – Optimistic people get more done, especially in crunch time. They tend to view challenges as hurdles rather than mountains, and they view deadlines as the red runner’s tape stretched across the finish line of a great race.

Creativity – Optimistic people don’t let dreams escape them. Instead of focusing on the thousands of ideas why a creative idea won’t work, ‘half-full’ people concentrate their energy on the one or two reasons why it would work, and run from there.

Persistence – Optimists fare better when the going gets rough. Rather than facing situations with false perkiness, truly optimistic people are able to dig in and work through challenges, knowing that every night has a sunrise following close behind.

Confidence – Optimism breeds success in efforts large and small. For ‘half-full’ types, setbacks become stepping-stones to new endeavors, and plateaus become launch pads for new ideas.

Courage – Optimistic people greet the world with brave faces, choosing to find the best in people, places and things that surround them. They are likely to make friends quicker in social situations, and they try not to view strangers as enemies.