If optimism is a state of mind or perspective borne out of choice rather than a reaction to circumstance, then we should consider whether it’s an irrational state of delusion or a resource squandered by the pessimistic.
There are few comments less helpful when facing crisis than ‘it could be worse’ or ‘put a brave face on, or ‘it’s always darkest just before the dawn’…
Perhaps a better question is: ‘does pessimism ever actually contribute towards creativity or solution thinking?” Pessimism is analogous to the handbrake and optimism the accelerator. Both contribute but in polar opposite ways to our journey.
Blind optimism with no focus on whether we’re on the right road or engaged in an effective strategy will just lead us farther down the wrong road and at greater speed. Be wary of buying into the myth that PERSISTENCE is the answer to all manner of roadblocks though. Persistence does not guarantee success and in fact will hasten your route toward oblivion if you are persisting in the wrong activity!
As a default state optimism has an energy and stickiness to it that is seductive to like-minded people and has a tendency to manifest in ever more positive opportunities and circumstances. Birds of a feather do tend to flock together and rarely do tribes of grumpy, cynical, pessimistic, cranky doomsayers ever reach great heights or inspire anything other than fear.
Choose your path be prepared to alter course, attack your journey with an appetite and energy that will attract associates and contributors present a balanced belief in your vision and more than likely you will stack the odds in your favour. Just as hope is not a strategy, optimism isn’t a potion guaranteed to manifest your every dream or desire.
Optimism is not always the answer but much rarer are the occasions when pessimism proves a greater ally