If your team is up by thirty points at halftime, it’s not optimistic to expect that you’re going to win–it’s a realistic assessment.
Optimism is an attitude and a choice. It involves context and focus. We’re not deluding ourselves with the reassurance that everything is going to be okay (because that’s not productive). Instead, we’re committed to finding things we can contribute to, work on and improve. We’re devoted to seeking out useful lessons and to discovering where the benefit of the doubt might be helpful.
Positive thinking doesn’t solve every problem. But it’s a much better tool than negative thinking.