Today I had a conversation with a friend about the semantics of "optimism."

She took it to mean "positive to the extreme," which in my opinion would be more akin to "blind optimism"--believing that everything is going to work out because it "always does" due to some sort of magical belief. 

The opposite would be "blind pessimism"--like the belief that one is "cursed," and thus "doomed to suffer."

My perspective of optimism, is that one accepts that life has challenges, and that it's not always easy; but the skills are had to endure and the ability to learn/adapt is present, so one may even thrive through the discomforts. 

She perceived that as "realism."

I opined that "realism" is the simplicity of what is. Things are happening. That is reality. There is no opinion about it--it's a neutral approach...

When we are optimistic about what is happening, then we feel like regardless of the reality, we will find a way through it, despite the discomforts involved--we don't have to to enjoy it--but we believe that we can survive it fairly unscathed. We recognize that grief will likely be a part of the ride, along with joy and appreciation.

A pessimist assumes that failure is guaranteed, and the only success will be that one will succeed in suffering. '

It's my opinion that when we have an optimistic perspective, we are likely to feel less tension, and may be more able to see the opportunities present to us, and feel more capable of engaging with whatever we may have to, along the way. It may be challenging, but it may also feel more pleasant because we are choosing to engage it with optimism.

A pessimistic perspective may increase the neurological tension we feel in our bodies, and in the process, potentially trigger discomfort, which may in turn continue feeding the pessimism...and one may feel weighed down with incapability.

Grounded optimism is a tool. 

It's one that requires practice to work with. 

Give it a go if you haven't yet; it's worth the effort, in my opinion. 

Cheers to reducing our neurological tension, through conscious applications!