I’m an optimist and a big believer in consciously adopting an optimistic outlook. I’m also a huge fan of discontentment. I see these attitudes as complimentary, not contradictory.
Optimism is a belief in the possibility for a better future. It’s about seeing opportunity in every situation. A chance to improve the present condition. It’s an eye trained to see the way in which the most good can be extracted from everything.
Discontentment is a restlessness with the status quo. It’s a refusal to leave well enough alone or make peace with, “that’s just the way things are.” Ludwig von Mises describes discontentment with present circumstances as one of the three preconditions to any purposeful human action.
Discontentment coupled with pessimism can make you depressed. Discontentment coupled with optimism leads you to create the world you want.
It’s not all roses. Which means there is an amazing opportunity to plant some.