All Posts

#88: Optimists

2 min read

This post should be reminder to try to be more optimistic than pessimistic. Quoted and best described from the book Thinking, Fast and Slow

Optimism is normal, but some fortunate people are more optimistic than the rest of us. If you are genetically endowed with an optimistic bias, you hardly need to be told that you are a lucky person - you already feel fortunate. An optimistic attitude is largely inherited, and it is part of a general disposition for well-being, which may also include a preference for seeing the bright side of everything. If you were allowed one wish for your child, seriously consider wishing him or her optimism. Optimists are normally cheerful and happy, and therefore popular; they are resilient in adapting to failures and hardships, their chances of clinical depression are reduced, their immune system is stronger, they take better care of their health, they feel healthier than others and are in fact likely to live longer - Thinking, Fast and Slow

…the evidence suggests that an optimistic bias plays a role - sometimes the dominant role - whenever individuals or institutions voluntarily take on significant risks. More often than not, risk takers underestimate the odds they face, and do not invest sufficient effort to find out what the odds are. Because they misread the risks, optimistic entrepreneurs often believe they are prudent, even when they are not. Their confidence in their future success sustains a positive mood that helps them obtain resources from others, raise the morale of their employees, and enhance their prospects of prevailing. When action is needed, optimism, even of the mildly delusional variety, may be a good thing. - Thinking, Fast and Slow