In Case You Thought Optimism Was Dead, Robert Brault Quote And Meaning

A Quote on Optimism

eraser-507018_640 [Sony PSP]The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.

– Robert Brault

Optimism is dead! The world is no more a positive place and people keep thinking of negative thoughts. There is so much of pain in the world. If I take up the newspaper today, I read about death, killing, greed, animals being tortured, people being cheated and so on. And if people tell you that you are living in a positive world, then maybe they are lying to an extent and you are living in a world which you create for yourself. Before we delve further, as always we try and answer a few questions

What is optimism?

Let us start with the basics. What is the meaning of optimism? Does it mean that there is no trouble in the world at all and everything is hunky dory? Does it mean that no matter what you try things always work out in your favour and you don’t have to worry about anything at all?

Does it mean that you have never failed in life and hence you can be optimistic about it? What is the true meaning of optimism?

If you ask us – optimism is nothing but a choice, it is the way we decide to look at life, it is the conscious effort to look at something positive even when all hell is breaking loose around us. It is to look for hope when things look hopeless. It is to believe in the silver lighting in a dark cloud.

Optimism is never easy!

I have heard people say they are optimistic and nothing would bother them. To be honest I think it is a lie. Anything of this magnitude which seems that easy sometimes makes me feel that it is all a big fat lie and sometimes an illusion as well. I may sound rude but I have a difficult time believing people who say they are completely optimistic in this world.

Life is a nice mixture, there are ups and downs. Optimism is a nice philosophy and has its own dangers too. We have talked about it in this post – Optimist/Pessimist and a realist. We shall not get into those details now.

What we are trying to say here is that optimism is not brushing away the problems and saying that life is beautiful. You can’t go to a garden with flowers and innocently say that there are no weeds. That is not optimism at all. That is plain foolishness. If there are weeds, we need to pluck them out, we need to make sure that the garden of our life is the way we want it.

There is no smartness in saying that there are no problems. There are problems and they will always be there. It is what you do about them that matters. And optimism simply means that. It is not having a long pencil and saying that whatever you write is going to be perfect. It is about being aware that things can go wrong and still believe that you can set it right and focus on that. That my friend is the true meaning of optimism.

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  1. Though I like your perspective but don’t think the statement is a lie: “Optimism is nothing but a choice, it is the way we decide to look at life.” Glass half filled is optimism and glass half empty is pessimism. Existence is paradoxical. It has problems and solutions both together. There is no absolute condition, even a stopped watch give correct time twice a day.

    • Ravish I reread my article twice. I’ve never said that optimism as a choice is a lie. The only lie I’ve mentioned is about people who claim to be a 100% optimistic. If thats the case I’m just saying that they’re either being too naive or calling themselves an optimist just to feel better. A real person goes through all the phases. He’s an optimist and also a pessimist. There can never really be an absolute optimist. And if there’s one I’d like to meet them. But I can assure you that the conversation with them might get a little annoying cos sometimes you just need to appreciate your problems as well, sometimes you need to worry about what they mean to you. If youre talking about dissociation from a problem, it might be the ultimate solution but not without associating with it first .. Or else it becomes meaningless

  2. Completely believe in this Vinay. Optimism is a state of mind. It is not about saying that nothing will go wrong, but it is what gives us the ability to continue when things go awry.

    • Thank you Somali. Optimism is a beautiful choice to side with and a great value and aspiration to live by. Although we can never hit a 100% optimistic note, getting there is all the fun πŸ™‚

  3. Wow Vinay another great thought…Optimistic is Really a choice….it’s choice whether to leave it or continue for some more time…that’s what will make a difference….
    Optimism will help you decide whether to leave or hold for some more time….


    • Thank you Mayuresh. I’ve loved these debates on optimism or pessimism . I finally would side by the thought that life is more important and the choices we make really matter. And optimism truly is nothing but a choice. It is very easy to be innocent and optimistic . but it is very meaningful to know the troubles and yet remain hopeful. That deserves true respect πŸ™‚

  4. I strongly believe this. Optimism is one’s belief in himself. The determination to carry on things even in the worst of times…. πŸ™‚

  5. Great post. But, I can’t agree to your saying that it’s a lie that some people are always optimistic. There are ups and downs in our life, doesn’t mean our attitude changes with it. The optimist doesn’t only look, and see that the glass is half full, but he is the one who knows that even a fully empty glass can be, and will be filled. So, an optimist keeps faith even in dark times,. It doesn’t mean that he never has downs. Only that he belives that bad times will pass, and keeps his cool.

    • Thanks Kiran. Personally I believe that definitions are a choice. If you ask me I’ll say even pessimism is a lie. As for optimism is concerned, I completely endorse the fact that people can never really be completely optimistic. In fact there’s no optimism without pessimism in life or else there wouldnt have been any results. Intellectually it is a great debate for pessimism or optimism or even realism. But I think life is life, we go through all these stages only to stick on to what works best for us. And sometimes pessimism makes more sense than optimism can . and its impossible to remain completely optimistic when things around us shatter and life keeps questioning us. We vacillate, we move back and forth. Hence I said a 100% optimism is a lie and an aspiration towards that sometimes becomes an unreal goal as well

  6. Woot Woot! This is a sound punch on the people who have completely mis-understood the meaning of optimism. I loved the quote and I totally relate to what your perception is towards being optimistic. Respect!

    • He he thank you Tara :). I loved writing on this quote. People seem to think that definitions are everything and I for one have always hated them. The impact they can have on life make a lot more sense than that πŸ™‚