Pessimists create revolutions

Optimism is “an attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome of some specific endeavor, or outcomes in general, will be positive, favorable, and desirable”. Optimists expect the best in any given situation. They accept that problems are inevitable, but solutions can always be found with sufficient knowledge and application. Pessimists don’t. They tend to focus on the negatives of life. Their starting assumption is often that things are more likely to be bad, go wrong, and fail.

Although it’s easy to think of them as polar opposites, actually we aren’t just one or the other, optimist or pessimist. We inherit both dispositions as independent traits, with our general well-being and environment influencing which emerges at any given time. But we benefit more from being an optimist than a pessimist. An optimistic outlook helps us deal with stress and strengthens our immune system. Optimists live longer too.

So, if we want to make life better for ourselves we should be optimists. But it’s the pessimists that work to make life better for everyone else. Optimists are optimisers. They take things as they are and maybe make gradually improvements. Pessimists don’t accept the status quo. They are unaccepting of things as they are or of making things better slowly. They demand bigger changes. It’s the pessimists who creates revolutions.