Over recent years, a large body of research has focused on human strengths and individual differences conducive to optimal functioning. Self-esteem (Harter 2006 ), life satisfaction (Diener et al . 1985 ) and dispositional optimism (Scheier and Carver 2001 ) have often been associated with well-being and success across a variety of domains of functioning like health, academic achievement and job performance (Baumeister et al . 2003 ; Lyubomirsky et al . 2005 ; Scheier et al . 1994 ). Life satisfaction refers to one’s overall evaluation of different domains and relationships that makes his or her life meaningful (Diener 1984 ). This overall judgment summarises the degree of gratifi cation one ultimately draws from the multiple activities and relationships that have marked her/his life. Optimism refers to a view about future personal and social events in which good things will be plentiful and bad things will be scarce (Scheier and Carver 2001 ). Although various studies have documented the relatively high degree of inter-correlation among the three constructs (Diener and Diener 1995 ; Lucas et al . 1996 ; Schimmack and Diener 2003 ), most of the literature has focused on the unique role exerted by each of them on specifi c outcomes.