Merriam-Webster defines Optimism as,

: a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future

: a feeling or belief that what you hope for will happen

Optimism and Disappointment are the next pair of primary opposite emotions, created by combining basic emotions. Optimism can be considered as the combination of Anticipation and Happy basic emotions.

Optimism is the feeling of expectation of the best (from the Latin optimum) possible outcome from events, that good things will happen independent of one’s ability. Each of us has a set point of Optimism that is inherited, as well as being influenced by environmental factors, such as our family environments. This set point or inclination, helps us feel varied levels of Optimism in the face of different life events.

Optimism and Hope are related but different. The definitions of hope have several themes – uncertainty of a specific outcome, multiple ways to get to that outcome and the motivation to start and keep going. Studies have shown that we feel Hope when we consider a specific outcome (e.g., recovery from a temporary illness), while we feel Optimism when it is a general outcome (e.g., today will be a good day).

The artist for Caricatures demonstrated Optimism with the idea of the best possible outcome from an event – the planting of a seed. There are so many things that can go wrong and not allow the seed to grow and flourish – lack of water and nutrition, being eaten by an animal, pests, etc. Optimism says, regardless, the seed will grow into a plant, and the plant into a tree.


The emotion Optimism in the Caricature series of sketches

The artist for Watercolors choose a different approach. The sketch shows a rich, gorgeous, multi-colored world when viewed through the glasses of Optimism, while the rest of the world is in black and white. The feeling of Optimism gives the superpower of the finest, most marvelous view of the world.

The emotion Optimism in the Watercolor series of sketches

The emotion Optimism in the Watercolor series of sketches