I’m a halfway believer in the power of optimism. Thinking positively can change your outlook on life and help you be a happier person. However, I’ve met people who have taken this positive outlook stuff to another level. As someone who works with depressed people almost daily, I know what a difference having a positive perspective can have on one’s mental state. However, as someone who is more of a realist, one thing that I’ve noticed is how often life doesn’t go the way we want it to. We live in a world where we are told that if we do something specific we’ll get specific results. If you go to college, you’ll get a decent job. If you study hard, you’ll make good grades. If you help enough people get what they want, one day you’ll get what you want. If you act like you have some sense, you’ll marry well. But none of these things are necessarily guaranteed. I’m often reminded of how often life doesn’t always go my way. There’s a saying that says we should hope for the best while planning for the worst. I like this perspective because it’s balanced. I think that optimism can be a source of false hope for some people and while that can be very comforting, I prefer a more straightforward approach that may not be as rosy, but depicts reality. I would rather experience a harsh truth than a comforting lie because at the end of the day, I want to be able to be prepared. Hope can be such a powerful emotion but I’d rather focus my energies on whats going on in the here and now instead of being disappointed at the outcome of my hope. I love optimists; they make the best friends.