The New York TimesThe New York Times

Are you (still) an optimist? These questions might help explain why

By Eva Holland

04 Feb 2023 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

Whether you are more inclined to optimism or pessimism, you always have some control over your outlook, explains The NYT.

Imagine you’re back in high school — fluorescent lights humming, hard plastic chairs, a classroom stuffy with hormones and anxiety — and you’ve just aced a test. Do you think to yourself, “I guess I got lucky today”? Or does your internal monologue say, “Damn, I’m good!”?

Now imagine that you’ve failed the test. Does the voice inside you whisper: “Of course. You’re so bad at this.” Or does it say, “Ugh — you just didn’t study hard enough.”

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