On being irrationally optimistic

boy looking into telescope

There’s a chapter in Zero to One by Peter Thiel that talks about optimism and pessimism. You have 4 parts to the spectrum: definite optimism, definite pessimism, indefinite optimism, and indefinite pessimism.

The definite view is that things will get better, or worse, because of the actions being put in. It’s in our control. Conversely, the indefinite view is that things will get better or worse no matter what you do.

I land firmly in the definite optimist crowd. In fact, I’ve been called irrationally optimistic on several occasions.

Being optimistic is a choice. You get to choose how you look at the world. I love what Stephen R. Covey said in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.

Being a definite optimist is also a choice. You have to choose to believe there is a plan that can take you from where you are now to a better future.

But being irrationally optimistic is an acquired skill. It can only come from a habit of being definitely optimistic over a long period of time and through many obstacles until one day you realize that leaning fully on your God-given talents will actually produce progress.

I encourage you to practice definite optimism. Choose to make a plan to make things better in everything you do.