Optimism is one of the most essential ingredients in a successful life: Without optimism the world is bleak, dreary place – Life stinks then you die. And even if there is some meaning and purpose in my existence, the odds of my succeeding at it are very slim, considering that bad things are far more likely to befall me than good.

An Optimist on the other hand, looks upon the world as a positive place. People and events are inherently good, things will work out in the end – They have a positive outlook on life.

Yet there is a sense of realism that demands questioning such an outlook. After all, many bad things do happen: businesses go bankrupt, people get sick, and everyone must die at sometime. Doesn’t an optimistic outlook on life run counter to intelligence? How can a person maintain a sense of optimism when often times it is counterintuitive?

This Shmuz deals with the issue of balancing an objective, calculated view of life with optimism, and some practical techniques towards adopting a more optimistic view point.