What is “part-time” optimism? It is a variation on realistic optimism, the concept that while optimism is generally beneficial there are definitely times when cold-blooded realism serves you best. One size rarely fits all and no solution works all the time.

How to tell the difference? When should you cast aside your sunny-side-of-the-street aura and tune in to your inner Spock?

The greater the down-side risk and the less emotion has to do with a situation, the better off you are going to be with hard logic or mathematical analysis. Such as, should I bet my mortgage payment on my lotto hunch?

It takes wisdom and a high degree of self-awareness to know when to hit the optimist kill button and it can take courage to turn back to the sunny side.

The most successful in life are not necessarily the smartest or the strongest but rather the most flexible, the best adaptors, the able integrators across multiple disciplines.


1. A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation; the propensity to expect the best and see the best in all things.

2. Hopefulness; confidence