Around the age of twenty-two I realized that my worldview had been deeply imbued with pessimism and cynicism. It was the culture I grew up in. A hostility to new ideas, to anything that strays from the norm. An assumption that if things can go wrong, they will go wrong — that malice is pervasive.
One day, I decided to become an optimist and life became much more fun.
The life of a pessimist is easy but dreary. The life of an optimist is hard but exciting. Pessimism is easy because it costs nothing. Optimism is hard because it must be constantly reaffirmed. In the face of a hostile, cynical world, it takes effort to show that positivity has merit.
To be an optimist, adopt these assumptions:
- The future can be great
- People’s intentions are mostly good
- Ideas are fragile and need nurturing
Every new idea is an unrealized dream. Dreams are delicate and easy to destroy. When an idea presents itself, try to imagine the best version of it — what would make this idea great?
Pessimism and optimism share a trait: both are self-fulfilling. Your intention influences the outcome. Call it karma or, simply, effort. I would rather inhabit a future that has the possibility of being great.
Only optimists can create a great future. Only optimists can imagine it. Only optimists will put in the effort to make it. If you want to create a great future, believe it can happen. Choose optimism.