Positivity. We love it. We enjoy looking on the bright side of life. So do we have a bias towards optimism? Do we expect that things in life will turn out better than we originally thought? The belief that the future will be better than the past is referred to as ‘optimism bias’, and the lottery is a classic example. We know the chances of winning are incredibly slim yet millions of people still buy tickets. Instead of thinking “I’ll never win this” people think “I have just as much chance as anyone else at winning”. And then when we don’t win, we turn it around to be a positive by saying “Better luck next time”.
Optimism gives us hope. It also allows us to make decisions without having to second guess ourselves as we believe we’ve made the right choice. Optimism allows us to find the silver lining in situations and it’s something that is hardwired into our brains. If we never wondered ‘what if?’ then we wouldn’t have evolved over millions of years to be where we are today.