Optimism comes naturally. Pessimism is acquired. You will not agree with me. You will say that these are character traits and one has an equal chance of being positive at all times as he has of glorifying Murphy. I would disagree. I would say that all of us are carefree to start with. That all of us have the impression that we can do whatever gives us happiness without thinking of consequences. That all of us have the knack of hoping that inspite of our lack of plans, everything will eventually turn out to be good for us. And yet I concede that at the end of all this, negativity prevails over all our hopes.
Now carefully follow the trail that I am going to guide you through.
I conceded because there is a bias at play in these scheme of things which otherwise should have been governed by unbiased random distributions. You can easily tell that sans any bias, one would be a pessimist and the other would be our happy-go-lucky guy. Out of two people, that is. But has any theory concerning the real world been this simple? So what does usually account for the deviations of the real from the ideal? Yes, indeed! Interparticle interactions. The pessimist, because of reasons pertaining to instability, is not able to contain his pessimism within himself. He takes the pseudo form of practicality. Now does it explain why all those IFs because of which you did not even try to achieve all that you wanted to, make up the basic framework of any introductory course to practical thinking? Anyway. So the practical one ends up doing the very thing he should not have. He radiates and fills his field with a gradient of IFs and BUTs. Through this, he interacts with the self contained optimist. The possibility of the optimist’s clear cut worldview getting misted by this field depends on how foresighted he really is. Being able to see the consequences of his every action does not refer to foresight in this context, since that in turn will add up to the IFs and BUTs. How sharply he has been able to focus the final picture is what I mean by foresight here.
Now suppose that our happy-go-lucky guy is focussed enough to wade through this field unscathed. But as in all virtual games, there is always a level 2. And there is hardly anything which is real about life. Here the source of the new and more stronger field is a person who is more accustomed to his own negativity. The special thing about him is not only his increased flux of IFs, but also his ability to channelise all his negativity with more precision due to better control. This pessimist is better known as experience. Although this is not a pseudo name like the practical pessimist. It is more of an incomplete designation. He can be more aptly named as bad experience. What evades people’s attention though is that all his experiences have not been bad by chance. They simply cannot be. Not only did he not try once more, but also, all his previous attempts were marked with premeditated pessimism. Success hardly comes by where there is skepticism. Skepticism about your own capabilities keeps you from planting your most powerful punch. It restricts you and confines you within a smaller space. This is the second reason for deviation from ideality. But people do not understand this. As we, unlike insects, are intrigued by the dark more than the bright. The bad for us is absolute. Therefore, all that is bad is regarded as experience and the success becomes a result which can only come by chance. Very few people have been able to cross level 2. Therefore, there are very few people who have lived to tell the tale of what lies beyond.
Our ability to think has undisputedly paid us dividends but it has also kept us from doing what we would have done otherwise. We are merely provided with the tool to think but the approach to use it is picked up somewhere down the road. Optimism is for the carefree. And the carefree is not to be confused with the irresponsible. True, the irresponsible doesn’t care. But he does not care for the work itself, while the carefree does not care for failure. Since thought is acquired, so is pessimism. We learn the IFs and BUTs. They are elements of logic. We are not born with them. Their presence in the program which runs us depends on who programmed us. Depends on who we met while we picked up the approach to think. The code that runs us should essentially have just one loop of trying till the system itself hangs. But the tendency of the programmers to show off their coding skills, and some other hackers who have specialised on ruining what others have created, introduce additional termination conditions in the code and directs us to another fragment to follow other failed programs. The only way out is to learn to program yourself rather than relying on other programmers. Keeping the code simple invariantly translates to keeping life simple. Keeping your thoughts uncluttered. When there are lesser fragments, thoughts become easier to manage. And you can be in control of what directs you. That is, your thoughts.
Cautiousness is something we pick up on the way while trying to achieve something which we are not really excited about. Nobody is born with it. If that would have been the case, then coming out of the womb would have been out of context in the first place. It is strange that how all of us go through so much to come into this world and then everyone around us, including we ourselves, engage in a lifelong attempt which is concerned with trying to put us back in an environment very much similar to the uterus. Confined and parasitic. Confined because by not allowing us to explore, we are not allowed to grow. Parasitic because by following what others before us had done, we merely lived through the inspiration, which few before us had sown and in turn failing to inspire even a single soul ourselves. The world is running short of inspiration. Become one yourself.