The definition of an optimist is: One who usually expects a favorable outcome. But how can you tell if you are an optimist or not? One question I always ask people, “Does your past affect your future?” If you say “No”, then you are on the right track to optimism. Many people have become realist or pessimist due to some terrible past experience. But just because you've experienced pain or disappointment in the past does not guarantee that what starts badly will end badly. So forget about that past experience and move forward, if you dwell on it too long you’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel.