Today’s Solutions: October 03, 2022

We use our Thought Leader Series as an opportunity to amplify the voices of some of the world’s most prominent thinkers and to evaluate more critically the complex topics we cover here at The Optimist Daily. 

Sometimes we are lucky enough to find great thought leaders within our own Emissary community. Today we are sharing the words of UC Santa Barbara graduate student Joe Swearngin. Swearngin is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics and reached out to share some of his insights into what it means to be an optimist:

A thought that’s been forming in my mind over the last few months:

Courage is not acting without fear. Courage is action despite fear. Fear is a necessary precondition for courageous action.

It occurs to me that I don’t have a similar definition of optimism but there should be. For optimism to be meaningful there should be a necessary precondition which one must assert something like positivity in the face of. Action in the face of fear is courage. Is compassion in the face of anger optimism? Is the action in the face of impending failure optimism?

The best I can come up with is value in the face of nihilism. Choosing to value in opposition to a world without values is the closest I can come myself to being optimistic.

If you too want to dive deeper into what it means to be a solution-seeking optimist, check out our podcast, The Optimist Daily Update, where our hosts discuss Swearngin’s words and the power of staying optimistic in the face of trying times. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

How to “unghost” a past friend, according to friendship experts

In a perfect world, no one would ever end a personal relationship by abruptly stopping all communication with no explanation—In other words, “ghosting.” However, ...

Read More

Americans are finally starting to embrace the bidet

Bidet sales are up in America! Editorial confession: We’ve been hoping to write something like that for a long time. If you don’t know ...

Read More

Mental health: Learn the difference between ‘loneliness’ and ‘being alone’

For the past few years, we’ve been told that loneliness is a public health crisis, as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes each day. The messaging is that ...

Read More

3 lifestyle hacks to help you become a little happier

There is no one path to finding happiness, but there are some lifestyle changes you can make to become more receptive to happiness. Without ...

Read More