Confessions of an Ex-Pessimist

It's personal confession time. What changed me from a hardcore pessimist to a sold-out optimist?

Distant rain storm

Sometime in my childhood, I figured out a fantastic way to avoid disappointment. After fighting back the tears of another letdown—maybe a fun trip that was cancelled, or a promised activity that never happened—I decided I wouldn’t let disappointment hurt me again. The next time something good was promised me, I didn’t believe it. I told myself, “It’s not going to happen. It’s going to get cancelled. And when it does, I won't be surprised or sad at all!”

And it worked. Next time my parents told me we couldn’t do this or that fun thing after all, not a single tear dripped down my cheek. I wasn’t sad at all. Of course, I never felt any joy from that point forward, but the lack of pain almost made up for my lack of happiness.

Some years later, I learned that this was called “Pessimism,” or “Negativity,” and that’s when I found out that it was banned in our