In my Values post, I list Optimism as my most important value, even I put it before reason itself! Why?

In short, because optimism “gets you out of bed in the morning”. If you don’t expect good things to come from your efforts, why do anything at all? This is why, in my worldview, optimism comes before reason.

Some additional points for optimism:

  • In a hedonic sense, optimism is more enjoyable than pessimism or realism, so why not be an optimist?
  • It seems to me that people with optimistic worldviews tend to outperform others. They are more persistent, more motivated, and take more risks.
  • The more optimistic a society, the more that society innovates (another benefit: it’s more fun to be surrounded by optimists).

Since I believe optimism is essential to progress, I hope that spreading my optimism to others will help make the world a happier, more innovative place.

[1] I know this is easier said than done, positive affect can be partially hard-wired for some people. But give it a shot! Maybe looking at facts, avoiding news, reading optimistic science fiction and looking at our amazing history of progress can help.

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