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A paper published by the University of Cologne in Germany in the May 2015 Journal of Personality and Psychology, in which more than 1,000 Americans and Europeans were studied, found that cynicism may be associated with poverty.
The study noted that cynicism makes you wary of trusting others. It went on to argue that when you see people in a cynical light — untrustworthy, self-interested and deceitful — you are less likely and less willing to rely on others.
This prevents you from securing help from others, partnering with others and creating teams to help you in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.
Those in the University of Cologne study who were the most cynical also happened to be the poorest. If you are wary about trusting others, you’re likely to have a lower income now and in the future, the study concluded.
Conversely, those in the study who were optimistic and had a more trusting view of others, had a higher income than the cynics. The study went on to conclude that cynics miss out on opportunities because they are less likely to ask for help and less likely to collaborate with others.
No one succeeds on their own. I’ve written about this often. You need apostles to your cause. You need others who believe in you and your cause in order to succeed. The most successful self-made millionaires dedicated their lives to building relationships with individuals who devoted their lives towards a common purpose or vision (think Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk).
Self-made millionaires are by and large the most optimistic people to work for. Their unbridled optimism infects everyone around them like a virus.
In my five-year study of rich and poor people, 67% of the self-made millionaires said that their optimism was critical to their success in life. Conversely, 78% of the poor in my study admitted to being pessimists. Granted, cynicism and pessimism aren’t quite the same, but they have one major factor in common: negativity.
Cynics don’t like working with others, don’t trust others and, as a result, they are left without any team to help them pull the cart. They prefer to go it alone. If you’re a cynic, you are sabotaging your life, financially. You are pushing the very people you need away and are left with no choice but to rely on yourself.
Cynicism is a recipe for failure.