3 Simple Reasons Why Optimism Is Not Enough

Optimism is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s way better than pestimism (Word!), but it’s empty without action. Although it is vital for building happiness, optimism is not enough.


Optimism Without Action is Empty

Without action, optimism is just fluff. Unfortunately, it will eventually run out. We’ll stop falling for it. We need objective evidence, something we can see or feel. We need something we did or something we are doing.

I’m an existentialist (Don’t leave yet! Second to last big word, I promise!!) I believe in the Kierkegaardian (That’s the last one!) philosophy that Truth is Subjectivity. Sure, there are some solid facts out there that opinions can’t change.

Our perception of reality is influenced by our outlook, our pessimism or optimism. Our truth is subjective.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

There’s a reality, and we perceive that reality. Our outlook–our optimism or pessimism–determines how we perceive that reality.

Our perception determines how we interpret that reality, how it makes us feel. That interpretation influences how we act. Or don’t act.


We’re back to Action.

The results of our actions will affect how the reality ends up, which will, in turn, determine our level of optimism or pessimism.

Full circle. Is it a vicious circle or virtuous circle? That depends on our outlook, optimism or pessimism.

The Virtuous or Vicious Circle

That process continues unless we break the circle. To stop a vicious circle and start growing happier, we’ve got to jump on that merry-go-round somewhere.


We can’t change reality.

We can affect it. Likewise, we can work to make sure our reality is better in the future. However, we can’t change the current reality, though, so let’s not jump in there.


We can’t change the past, those experiences that have led to our current demeanor.

It’s already happened, and can’t go back in time to fix it. Our best bet is to work for a better future.



We have to jump on the merry-go-round at our outlook. We have to change how we think, so we can see the hope and possibilities instead of what will probably go wrong.

Most of those things that we pessimisize (Word!) will happen…. They won’t happen. We’ll do nothing but worry, and the bad stuff won’t even happen. Our worry and pessimism will be for nothing. We’ll suffer for something that doesn’t happen.

Like Newt Scamander said, “We’ll suffer twice.”

So positivity makes better sense. Optimism, thinking—knowing we can work to make reality better, works. Pessimism will make us do nothing. It will encourage us to try something. What if you try new things?

If the bad stuff rarely happens when we do nothing, then how much better chance do we give our future with optimism and action?

HA! There it is. Action.

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”

– Newt Scamander*


Action is the Key

Optimism hopefully grants the confidence and motivation to act. Am I being too optimistic about that? Action will lead to:

  • the results
  • the progress
  • or at least a lesson

that will build and sustain happiness.

Optimism makes us happier to have the opportunity, but the lack of action will lead to regret that we didn’t take action. And regret is THE WORST.

3 Reasons Optimism Isn’t Enough

  1. We need to influence the outcome.
  2. We need evidence of the good.
  3. We need to enjoy the progress.

As great as it is, without action, optimism is just hope.

As great as hope is, without action, it can turn pessimistic pretty quickly.

Let’s make that our thing.

Be optimistic.




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Related Posts

Are things what they seem, or is truth subjective?

Optimism is great, but there is no happiness without action.

One way to help improve your outlook is to try new things.


Am I being too hard on optimism? Or do you agree that action is essential?

What do you think is more important? Optimism or action? Why?

Join the conversation on your favorite social media platform.

Join the conversation on your favorite social media platform.

* From the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.

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