Realistic Optimism

Realistic optimism consists of two parts. The first is that you face facts, at all times, and consider all relevant facts. The second is that you assume the positive is more powerful and more relevant than the negative. Even when most things are going poorly in a particular context, you consider the positive facts such as the strength of your own mind in figuring out problems. A realistic optimist assumes that the best can occur, at least with effort, without assuming that it necessarily will occur. Realistic optimism isn’t the same as naive optimism. Naive optimism consists of the attitude, “It will work out–somehow. I don’t know how, but somehow.” This is nothing more than mindless, helpless faith. Realistic optimism consists of the attitude, “The realistic is powerful while the stupid or the ignorant is weak. With effort, the realistic and the positive will tend to win out. Even when they don’t, the real is more powerful than the blind, the stupid or the evasive.” Mindfulness (in the objective, rational sense) trumps mindlessness–even when mindlessness enjoys more popularity.