Optimism Trumps Fate

Maybe not today, but in the long run, it definitely will. I’m not talking about a specific instance here. “I was so sure we’d win the game, but the rain made it impossible to cover any ground with those new shoes we’d just bought.” That happens all the time.

What I want you to consider is your belief in the concepts of optimism and fate themselves. Let’s say you don’t believe in fate. The cosmos is full of randomness and indifference.

If you’re also an optimist, you’ll constantly expect chance to pleasantly surprise you, and you’ll work hard towards giving it as many opportunities as you can. If you’re a pessimist, however, everything you do will feel just as meaningless as random particles colliding in the cold darkness of space. Why do anything? It’ll all amount to nothing anyway.

Now, let’s assume you believe very strongly in fate. Everything is preordained, and there’s no way we can escape fortune’s grasp.

What would an optimist do under such circumstances? They would take pride in their accomplishments but never claim all the credit. After all, it was mostly fate! Similarly, they’d be unfazed by setbacks and forever look towards the next thing destiny might have in store for them. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be today. Let’s see if fortune likes me better tomorrow!” A pessimist, on the other hand, would see doom and gloom wherever they turn. They’d expect the apocalypse to occur any minute, and they’d be convinced karma is out to get them every time they forget their keys.

Do you see it? How much you believe in fate pales in comparison to whether you choose a positive or negative outlook on life! Fate and chaos are the two extreme yet equally resigned ends of the free will–spectrum. If you think there’s even a slight chance we exist in-between, in the grey space where we control some things but not all, you’re also giving yourself room to choose hope.

Whether we are an optimist or a pessimist determines our life strategies and tactics much more so than free will, so if you at all believe you can, please, choose hopefulness. On some days, looking forward to the future will be the most important thing we do — let’s not leave it up to chance.