An optimistic outlook is a good thing. Yet nowadays optimism is all-too-often viewed with cynicism and skepticism.

We have come to see optimism as this pie-in-the-sky, rose-colored utopian concept, rather than as a tool of positive energies, positivity and manifestation.

I have become amazed at how readily I will discuss the notion of positive energy and being in a positive rather than a negative vibe, yet never mention the notion of optimism. It’s almost as if I am afraid that if I speak out about being optimistic my already somewhat lofty notions will be even more easily dismissible.

What has happened to our culture that optimism is so readily met with a knee-jerk response and cynics and skeptics? How might this effect Pathwalking and attempts to manifest life and control our own destinies?

I have no doubt that there is more than one answer to this question. I would hazard a guess about a few of the root causes. Most likely when we became better connected, when the twenty-four hour news cycle and the internet gave us instantaneous access to information across the globe, we began to develop this aversion to optimism.

Why? Let’s face it – before we had the ability to know everything happening all over the planet instantly, we all mostly saw a relatively small picture. We saw local news and national news with ease, but “world news” was happening on another continent, and in general we learned about it after it was already a thing. Now we see developing news and information everywhere at any time, day or night.

What does the media choose to show us? War. Famine. Destruction. Totalitarianism and extremists. Pain and suffering and miserable people providing the worst aspects of human nature. We have been inundated with this for more than two decades now…which means there is an entire generation of adults who have never known a world that was not interconnected so intimately yet impersonally.

It’s pretty hard to be optimistic about the world when you are exposed to a constant barrage of ugliness.

When media constantly shows greed, corruption, struggles and the wanton destruction of both history and the planet itself….feeling optimistic somehow seems inappropriate.

Of course the opposite is true. We need to have more optimism for the world. If, as I frequently postulate, consciousness creates reality – which do you think is better, pessimism or optimism?

Pathwalking is ultimately an optimistic endeavor. The notion that I can make my own way, create my own destiny is an optimistic one. Though I have never referred to it as such, it is of vital importance that I acknowledge my optimism on this score. Optimism is a part of positive energy, just as pessimism is a part of negative energy. If we lose our optimism about life’s possibilities, we cannot create new and better lives because our energy is not positive.

Yes, I recognize that energy may not just be positive and negative but also neutral. There is a place between optimism and pessimism just as there is a place between positive and negative energy. If we are unable to look at the world and see good, and feel optimism about prospects and potentials, we lack much of the energy we will need to choose and walk a given path. As such our ability to manifest is impaired and we do not get the forward motion we desire.

I used to call myself a cynical optimist. I was for the most part optimistic about life, the universe and everything…but I still needed proof. To some degree this aligns with the Don Jose Ruiz and Don Miguel Ruiz’s Fifth Agreement – Be skeptical, but learn to listen.

The difference between cynicism and skepticism is believing all human acts are in fact selfish acts versus questioning the validity or authenticity of a thing. I realize now I have always been a skeptic, not a cynic.

It is ok to have some skepticism. We should not just believe whatever we are fed, we should question if it is authentic or just made-up. At the same time, this does not preclude optimism. The world CAN be an amazing, beautiful and hopeful place. The question is will your viewpoint match that of zealots and fanatics or traditionalists or progressives or what have you?

The important thing about optimism is that it allows you to have hope for a better life. A better today, a better tomorrow. Optimism allows us to see the good in the world and believe that the human race is not just full of selfish, greedy, evil jerks….but people like us who want to be happy, whole and healthy.

The next time we want to express optimism – we need to do it. We need to show the world that the terrible things the media presents to us are not the majority of life experience in this world. We need to believe and hope for better health wealth and happiness for everyone. We should not feel ashamed about being optimistic – we should embrace it, and spread it.

Optimist is not a dirty word. It should be a mark of pride. Optimists, like Pathwalkers, are people who believe that the world is full of potential and can be an amazing place. Life is an adventure, which we can choose to live to our best ability.

Are you an optimist?


This is the one-hundred eightieth entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my personal desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available in print and for your Kindle.