Optimism, pessimism and freedom

Optimists tend to find more creative solutions. Here's why.

Optimism, pessimism and freedom
Optimism and pessimism are closely related. Image generated using DALL-E

In this article, I want to discuss the relationship between optimism and freedom.

Often, seeing a glass half-empty or half-full depends on our own history rather than on the current state of the world and current events. Optimists and pessimists face the very same reality, but decide to interpret it in a drastically different ways.

Sometimes the more negative views of the world are more appropriate than the brighter options, especially when real dangers are involved. But most of the time, while pessimism is the path of least resistance, it's also the most limiting one.

Is it half-full or half-empty? Image generated using DALL-E

In a way, optimism and pessimism are two sides of the same coin. They represent two different ways to assess a situation and decide how to act or react. It's often very interesting to consider different points of view before taking important decisions, as each may lead to drastically different conclusions, actions, and results.

Why optimism is freedom

Optimists see possibilities and opportunities, whereas pessimists focus on risks and pitfalls. The thing is that most of us are pessimists by nature. Humans have a tendency to fear losses (loss aversion) and avoid risks/dangers.

That being said, when there are no major (physical or financial) risks involved, optimists have freedom on their side. They are able to consider different solutions to the problems at hand. Optimism is freedom in the sense that it opens a world of possibilities. Instead of seeing only problems and roadblocks, optimists see opportunities and are able to come up with creative solutions.

Optimism enables abstracting problems and improves focus on the big picture

Optimists are able to ignore certain challenges to focus on what's coming next. Seen in that light, optimism enables abstraction and focus on the bigger picture.

Being an optimist doesn't mean completely ignoring reality, and requires correctly evaluating the risks involved. Assuming that worst-case scenario consequences are not dramatic, optimism is often the most interesting choice, as it opens up more possibilities.

Optimists make bets on positive outcomes based on their own experience and an enlightened and rational evaluation of the situation. Optimists need to assess risks correctly and may remain risk-averse, but prefer to focus on the potential of positive outcomes. That being said, it doesn't mean that optimists can't also prepare for the worst-case consequences.

They are sometimes proven wrong, but oftentimes, optimists will actually tip the scale and help positive outcomes become reality. There's no scientific study backing my claims, but it's an opinion I've forged based on my life experiences.


In this article, I've discussed the relationship between optimism, pessimism, and freedom. I've also discussed why optimism tends to open up a world of possibilities and find more creative solutions.

So in which camp do you stand? Optimists or pessimists?

Whether you're naturally inclined to be optimistic or pessimistic, do consider both sides of the equation, and evaluate where each choice might lead you. When in doubt, prefer the optimistic point of view. You (generally) won't be disappointed.

That's it for today! ✨