The Optimism Delusion


Is optimism just a delusion?

Are optimists merely happy fools, floating around, oblivious to all the pain and suffering in the world?

Can it be that pessimism is a more accurate perception of reality?

I personally feel that optimism and pessimism are both delusional by nature. The difference being that the former can serve our needs, while the latter works against us.

So it’s true that delusion is not always a bad thing — it can actually be very useful!

Optimistic people take chances, reach beyond their grasp, and refuse to quit. These qualities can help lead them to greater success in life.  Sure, it can easily bring about failure as well, but an optimistic person will not stay down. They will just take that hit and keep moving forward towards the bright light shining beyond the darkness.

That is someone we should all strive to be like.

So feel free to allow yourself to give into positive delusion sometimes.  See both the light and the darkness, but choose the light.
As long as you’re realistic, and prepared for the worst, expecting the best is never a bad thing.

17 thoughts on “The Optimism Delusion

  1. Reblogged this on Peekay's Positive Thoughts and commented:
    What’s up world? Its your boy Peekay. I believe thoughts drive what we do and what happens. Things happen and our thoughts have an impact on our actions and therefore allow us to react positively and negatively. We all have biases regardless of how objective and impartial we can be. Its your choice to react how things happen. I choose not to let things get to me. If something bad happens, I actively take control and then turn the situation into something positive. Although I am not always successful, I know I tried my best. What happens happens and how I react is what matters. This article sums up what goes on in the mind and perfectly describes my central ideas.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I really enjoy reading it and it was just a source of encouragement for me. Just before I read your post, I was just contemplating of the value of certain things I am trying to do. They are not easy things to do and I was questioning the goal that I set for myself. To sum it up, I was in serious pessimistic period… then I read your post and I thought, yeah… being pessimistic is not going to help anything. So I am back to expecting great things out of this.

  3. Agreed and supported. Yet there remain a significant cadre who choose to wallow in the darkness. For those pessimists, contempt breeds… Yet if they’re comfortable in that reality, so be their sphere.

  4. You’re right. Every single chance that I ever took was because I was optimistic about something. Pessimism never got me anywhere. But I also realized that optimism demands a sense of passion for something. I can only be optimistic about something only when I grow passion for it.

  5. From a philosophical perspective, we much surely all be delusional. We create our world in our own imagination. But it also seems to me that optimists make things happen, so it’s a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

  6. Life is too short to be miserable, depressed, pessimistic, and down. The key to a happy, healthy, joyous life is to force yourself to be optimistic, and to maintain a positive mental attitude, although there are some of us who are fortunate, and we do not have to force ourselves! It comes naturally! Happiness is a choice, as is success!

  7. I really enjoyed this thought! I have been in a little puddle of pessimism for a while now and I’m just realizing that I can choose to feel crappy, or I can move forward and smile. Great writing. Thank you!

  8. Makes me think of the Apollo moon program. Most of the flight controllers were in their 20’s. 30 year olds were the old men. A Saturn 5 was struck by lightning during one launch. The lead on that launch team was legend Gene Kranz. His call for go/no-go went to a kid in his early 20’s. He made the correct go call with 3 lives and millions of dollars in the balance. As more than one has said, “How did we get to the moon? We didn’t know we couldn’t.”

  9. I believe that optimistic people are more successful in things, generally speaking. Oh, they have their share of failures, but not as easily nor as often. They also make for better people of faith…for they hope for something which is not seen directly, but promised by a God in whom they trust without question!

    The True Light

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  11. Greetings,
    I totally agree with you about optimism and pessimistic ways of being are dillusional. I am quite optimistic in nature. I will take chances and step out and try new things. I calculate the risk factors and knowing I may not see all the risks, I still step out and try just to see what might become of it. (smile) Thanks for sharing.

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