TED Conversations

Kathryn Hoban

Legislative Aide - Michigan Senate, National Society of Collegiate Scholars

This conversation is closed.

Optimism and Pessimism: The Impact of Outlook on Outcome

Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?
What do you think are the drawbacks and benefits of each?
To what extent do you think your outlook impacts your actions?
Tali Sharot talks about the blame that optimists and pessimists place on either themselves or other factors. To what extent do you blame internal or external factors regarding your success or failure?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 16 2012: As the joke goes....

    The optimist sees the glass half full. The pessimist sees it have half empty. The opportunist drinks all there is and is never thirsty.

    Sometimes people think too much. What if I simply have all there is but carry a bigger glass just in case I find a little more. I am not saying we should settle for anything. As I tell my firends "Just enough sucks." However I do appreciate what I have and am prepared to make do with what is available.

    As for your question...Better to be a realist. You can go into a situaation hopeful and looking forward to great success but still be aware enough to know that failure is a distinct possibilty

    .As for blame, the old saying applies....Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. One thing is for sure, we have to be prepared to take advantage of our opportunities when they present themselves. We cannot control certain things but if we are prepared to deal with the problems as they arise we should, more often than not, be fine.

    Put a little money aside.
    Carry an extra pen.
    Be careful of who you call friend.
    Have some extra supplies.
    Use your people wisely.

    And you will rarely guess on the outcome...because that is what optimism and pessimism is...guessing.
    • thumb
      May 17 2012: That joke about the glass is one of my favorites. I sometimes hear it with "the thirsty man" thrown in there instead, but really, what's the difference? Opportunism always provides a new view on pessimism and optimism because it disregards both in favor of making the best of the situation. Thanks Frank!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.