How to Be Optimistic

Practical ideas on optimism.

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1. This will make you stronger.


Difficulty is what awakens the giant within us.

So don’t be afraid of difficulty in life. Rather, think that Difficulties will actually make us stronger, more resourceful, and more clever.

Downtown LA, 2016

If anything, we should take more risks in life, to expose ourselves to more difficulties. And those Difficulties will make us more powerful.

Who doesn’t like to feel more powerful?

2. Technology is fucking amazing.

Kyoto, 2015

Ok, just consider: you have access to the entire sum of human knowledge, that is accessible in a 4 inch glass and metal slab.

I was born in 1988. The best I had was a Super Nintendo. If I had to answer a question, I had to schlep myself (and very heavy Jansport backpack) all the way to the library.

When I was in high school, there was no Youtube. Now, you can make a living being a “Youtube celebrity.” In the past, you had to be “discovered” by an agent.

Now, you can discover yourself, and promote yourself (via internet).

My mom always tells me, “Eric, you’re so lucky and fortunate. If you were born 10 years ago, you couldn’t do your passion for a living.”

She is right. The internet has democratized the playing field. No more barriers to entry. If you have enough hustle, skill, and opportunity, you can do anything you want to do, and become anyone you want to be.


Consider that wireless wifi is essentially free at this point. You can buy a smartphone for less than $100. You can now “be your own boss” by being an Uber driver (wish I could have done this in college).

Technology keeps getting cheaper, internet keeps getting faster and more and more opportunity is opening up.

3. Ruthlessly cut negative people from your life

It is better to cut negative people from your life than add positive people.

For example, if you have negative “nay sayers” in your life, people who emotionally blackmail you (includes family members), or friends who shit on your dreams, cut them out of your life. Be ruthless.

Photo collage by Frank Steltzer and Rabban

I had to cut my dad out my life. He was nothing but a toxic black cloud. And I didn’t want to pollute my fresh spring water.

You were destined for greatness and grandeur. Why let negative folks drag you down, when you were destined to fly to the highest heights?


Being positive and optimistic is no easy matter. Even Seneca said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of bravery.”

Life will shoot at you, and you will feel the bullet holes. But you will rise superior.



eric kim portrait by cindy

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