You could divide the world into optimists, realists and pessimists. I mean, I don’t recommend it – that’d be chaos. Nothing would get done in pessimist territory, but the optimist zone might be worse…
Okay, okay. You could classify each person into one of those three categories. Optimists see the bright side of things. Pessimists see the shadow from every light. Realists assess each situation on its merits.
Only one of those groups is unbiased. Realists must outwit, outperform and outdo the others, right?
Ah, if only a simple flirtation with rationality gave you such power.
Here’s the rub, bub: optimists win almost any competition. Everything else being equal, optimists are smarter, stronger, faster, richer, happier, more loved and healthier.
Yes, occasionally, we optimists dive into stupid situations. We think we could run for mayor or build a better mousetrap. Contrary evidence is a challenge to be crushed, you see. The only sensible thing is to blindly charge into the abyss and trust it’ll all work out…
Well, not quite. Obviously it pays to think things through. But consider this – no realist ever became a famous movie star. Or an Olympic medallist. Or an artist who changed the way the world sees itself. These endeavours are so improbable, anyone who calculates their chances wouldn’t begin.
And optimists keep going through the rough patches. Sometimes the sensible thing to do is quit. More often, that seems sensible even if it isn’t. Being too reasonable can hold you back.
Optimism isn’t perfect. It makes sense to doubt sometimes. Even so, it’s generally the best of the three. Most people could use a little more hope and confidence.
And if you think these traits are ingrained, either by birth or by childhood…?
Well, that’s a little pessimistic of you.
You can change – all you need is an interface to your deepest mind. Nature provided you with one, even if it is a little tricky to learn.
Once you do, though, a mindset shift to greater optimism is simple. Not easy, but simple.
You can learn how to do it right here: