Optimism is helpful in many ways: it is the disposition that the present moment and all its variables are in an optimum state. In Peter Thiel's 'Zero To One', the definite optimist has a concrete plan for the future and strongly believes in that future being better than today. The indefinite optimist is bullish on the future but lacks any design and plan for how to make such a future possible. The definite pessimist has a specific vision for the future but believes that future to be bleak. The indefinite pessimist has a bearish view on the future but no idea what to do about it. Our world has currently shifted to a majority of indefinite optimists, is that a good thing? or a bad thing? How do we push ourselves to a world of definite optimists?
This attitude can offer us strength to face our challenges, but may also narrow our vision for what the uncertain future may hold. Our notions of optimism appear to periodically shift between “definite” forms of optimism, and “indefinite” form of optimism. Have you ever encountered a watershed moment in your life, where optimism, either definite or not, has shaped the rest of your life? We hope to deconstruct this interplay between definite and indefinite optimism, to inform your leadership within institutions, communities, and our broader society.