Is optimism just another way of denying reality?

Anonymous (@) 9 years, 10 months ago

Hey guys,
Don’t you think optimism is just another way of denying reality?

I guess the day we start accepting reality, we will not care about hope,positive thinking, attitude and related stuffs.

This is what I feel, comment if you think my post makes some sense, otherwise just ignore:)

March 16, 2012 at 1:49 am
Valerie (0) (@vrayrn) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Nah, optimism is THE way to make reality pleasant… multiple interpretations encouraged

Grand Kahlib (76) (@kahlib) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

i agree. however,it seems like you are saying ‘don’t reply unless you agree’. do you agree?

Joseph (114) (@warriors41) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

There are three ways to look at the world: Optimism, Pessimism, or Realism.

Optimism is not denying reality, but it’s only looking at half the picture.

Valerie (0) (@vrayrn) 9 years, 10 months ago ago


Valerie (0) (@vrayrn) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

@ Kahlib, that is

Anonymous (3) (@) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

I don’t think optimism is denying reality at all, viewing life through ‘rosey tinted glasses’ is denying reality. Optimism always seems to bring about events that correlate with the positive thought while pessimism correlates with negative thought and experience. So as long as you are aware of both but choose to focus upon the positive there is no denying anything. Ying Yang, right? The equilibrium of everything will always balance out the good and the bad, the black and white. In my experience the most powerful and fufulling days that I have had are the ones I choose to be optimistic throughout the entire day. In my mind by being optimistic one is changing the world in a positive way for the betterment of the entire existence of everything. Love is more powerful than fear.

So as long as you are aware of these opposites but choose optimism over pessimism there will be nothing to deny.

Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Denying your own existence is optimistic. You can run but you can’t hide.
“A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is a man who hopes they are.” – Oscar Wilde

Matt (26) (@greenthinker) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Here is how I view Optimism after listening to Optimal Living 101:

Optimism and Pessimism revolve around 3 P’s: Permanence, Pervasiveness, and Personal.

When something positive happens to an optimist they know: it is permanent, it will help them in other aspects of their life, and it is because of something good they did.

When something negative happens to an optimist they know: It is only temporary, it will not harm other aspects of their life, and they don’t take it personal, even if they caused it.


If something positive happens to a pessimist they know: It is not permanent, It will not improve other parts of their lives, and it is not a result of their doing (perhaps their boss was just in a good mood today).

If something negative happens to a pessimist they know: It is permanent, it will affect other parts of their lives, and they take it personally.

Some people classify optimism as hopefulness. I say to anyone who does not go into every situation hopeful, they are not committing themselves to the act. If you don’t commit 100% you are only hurting yourself.

Christine (15) (@tuneofspeech) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Disclaimer: some heavy stuff in this post. Please read with care…

I really have to agree with James and Matt on this (I’m not very tech-savvy, so sorry if I was supposed to put @ or whatever! ^,^) … I classify myself as an optimist, yet I guess an optimist-realist to be safe. I don’t see the point in viewing everything in a negative light – it is not only an unhealthy way to look at things generally, but it is emotionally damaging. In the past five years I have lost many loved ones to cancer or suicide. Going through those tough times, sure, life looks like it pretty much is hopeless. But in remembering those lost, I find a sense of hope. I’m agnostic, but I feel that there has to be something (a reason?) to this life. Life is a gift, and should be graciously accepted and with a joyful heart. This might sound like pure mush (my brain is shutting down now – cramming a bunch of translations for homework), but I sincerely believe that life is good. Life has its ups and downs, sure, but life is generally something to be cherished and experienced. Especially pertaining to the suicides, I’ve faced the question of whether life is truly “good” (something that allows for hope and love) face-to-face time and time again. One of my close friends took his own life, and I still do not understand it. (Sorry if I’m totally being a downer, just my views.) Yet I remain optimistic in life. I feel that being optimistic is not only rewarding in itself, but is a positive influence on interactions with others (from a simple “hello” to a 3am heart-to-heart).

Concerning “denying reality” – I really don’t see it as that. I take the world in through my eyes, recognize the bad, but also take care to focus on the good or the hopeful in the world. The world is not perfect. Reality is not perfect. It’s just how you interact with it and interpret it and share it with others. I personally accept reality and all of its flaws, but still remain hopeful – a positive thinker with a positive attitude. Personally, I think life is too short to waste time worrying about everything (even though I recognize there is plenty to worry about) – it should be experienced and explored with a hopeful heart and open mind.

Yet again … just my thoughts on the matter.

Michael (26) (@mike) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Reality (regarding human consciousness) is necessarily perception. Optimistic and pessimistic are possible conscious (and unconscious) interpretations; both equally valid in terms of human cognition.

Jason (111) (@thinknowlivenow) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

There is a big difference between selective reasoning/denial and optimism. The first involves ignoring the obvious objective nature of things in favor of ego comfort and emotional biases,(aka the exact opposite of what you believe to be true occurs, but you continue to believe in your original assumption regardless) while the second actually EFFECTS the outcome and overall nature of your experiences, regardless of the nature of your beliefs. True optimism is not a philosophy or a theory; it is a state of being in and of itself.

Spend one full week in nothing but a positive state, and observe the nature of your thought processes, choices, and the results of those choices. Then, do the same experiment for a week with a negative mindset. It should be blatantly obvious what each state causes. Until you dedicate yourself to such a simple, objective exercise, you really have no foundation for the nature of positive/negative thoughts and their macroscopic effects on local reality.

Whatever your prevalent mental/emotional climate is, you are going to attract experiences that reinforce it. The Law of Attraction is at work right now, whether you subscribe or not. That’s the irony; those who blow it off as delusion simply attract experiences to reinforce their assumption. Cynics are simply going to attract people, materials and resources that reinforce their perspective, while optimists receive assistance via incredible experiences that seem absolutely mundane and trivial to anyone with an outside perspective.

Because it is ultimately our conscious freewill intent that allows us to adopt any given stance (or polarity in this case), it is blatantly obvious that we choose the nature of our experiences. The more conscious you become, the more you start to see belief systems and paradigms erode, and they become different “angles” or “shadows” of an overall higher superset reality, of which our physical domain is but a tiny subset.

It then becomes laugh-out-loud obvious that the point of the simulation we call physical reality is to decrease the entropy of our consciousness towards higher evolved, more favorable states. Our thoughts/moods/intent attract experiences that are meant to eventually assist us in realizing the necessity of transcending ego, duality and culture all together, casting aside material obsession for higher conscious function and verity. This is what is meant by “learning lessons” spoken of so frequently in esoteric and mystic texts.

Fantastic thread and discussion guys!

Brandon P’naantan Pinkney (321) (@hlalhabattu) 9 years, 10 months ago ago


also optimism in and of itself is not denial of reality but a change in perspective, e.g. it is raining outside, but at least I have a house to shelter me from it

or everybody in my department is getting pay deductions, but at least I can still make ends meet

optimism only denies reality once you refuse to see things for how they are, besides in my experiences with “realists” many tend to be cynics, possibly due to the fact that they never allow themselves to look on the bright side

but then again those are the people I know so I can’t make that generalization

daveb (119) (@daveb) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

@shyam: >>I guess the day we start accepting reality, we will not care about hope, positive thinking, attitude and related stuffs.

What is this “reality” of which you speak? I think reality is what you make of it. Change that “we” to a “you” and it’s true, but leave me out of it . . . maybe ignorance = denial of reality, but I have to think about it more.

>>I sincerely believe that life is good

I agree, it really is that simple.

odani (0) (@odanife) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

sometimes i think it is. like sometimes we don’t like to think of other consequences that may come when we do this or when we do that and we tend to be optimistic. we tend to neglect or remove from our minds that bad things may happen.

we deviate from reality to go to what we envision when we are overly optimistic. the tendency, i think, is that we create another world wherein we minimize the bad things and overstate the good things to happen. while this is sometimes good, it is not always good because what we want is not always what is or what is supposed to be.

that’s just what i think.
i used ‘we’ by the way. :))

Jared Edwards (128) (@jaredwards) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

I disagree completely. Optimism is purely an outlook.
Reality is the situation at hand – outlook is how you choose to respond.

Peter (152) (@searchingforthetruth) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

Optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something

Being confident about the future of which you worked to make it happen is denying reality? Really?

Optimism to me is..the by product of manipulating reality to best suit the needs and wants of the individual.

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