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Kyle Story, CommUNITY Voices guest columnist

Be a pessimist.

It is better to wake up and know that everything is going to go wrong than to rise thinking everything will go your way.

Think of it this way: Today is going to be awful. It is the day that it rains, the day you will get splashed with mud, the day you will get no sleep, the day everyone is out to get you. Nothing will go your way.

This is an odd concept, we ought to think the opposite will happen — that everything will go right. We should think that waking up every day and being in a pessimistic mindset should lead directly to depression — it would be better to stay in bed all day rather than be soaked in the dirt of the day.

The opposite is true.

When you wake up and say everything will go your way and it doesn’t, even the smallest thing will ruin the day.

Once you go outside and the sun is not shining as bright as it should — that is fine. When you go to make coffee and find that your roommate has finished off the rest of it, that bothers you a little. Then you get stuck in traffic for 15 minutes and get to your 8 a.m. class a minute late; this leaves you beside yourself.

Everything now has a fault. To an optimist, the day is ruined.

Tomorrow you will not get out of bed for any reason, for you know that no matter what happens during the day, something will go wrong. All this is for the reason of expecting everything to go completely right.

However, if you wake up and deny the thought of a good day, even the smallest thing that goes right makes the day better. The sun is overcast as expected. The coffee is gone in the house just like you thought it’d be. You are late to class because of traffic — also expected. These small things do not enslave your mind to worse thoughts and actions.

Something will guide the day to be awful, so you should expect it to be awful. Then later in the day you get that promotion at work, and it is even better because you did not expect it. This good thing now outweighs the discomforts. Whereas a optimist would find it tainted, a pessimist would find everything is better.

A pessimist would find that the day is better even if a horrible event did not happen because it was expected to happen and it did not.

Zeno and Chrysippus, two Greek philosophers, summed this idea up in a brief saying: We are dogs tied to the backs of carts. This means that we are not in control of the day, only on what we think of it.

We can follow the cart, go with the blows and be happy when something goes right. Or we can complain and fight the cart, even though it cannot be fought, and be more sad and worse off when the day does not end in the desired outcome.

Find a middle way of thought. Do not hope for anything, acknowledge that life is awful and nasty.

Nothing will go right if everything is expected to go right.

In today’s world, the wrong president will win, the economy will go down the toilet and the next global conflict will take hundreds of lives.

Things will go wrong and that is OK — expect it.

When something goes right and everything is expected to go wrong, the day is all the better for it.

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