When I was in my mid twenties I faced a bit of an existential crisis: my inherent pessimism was starting to negatively impact my life. You see, I was a generally happy guy, but I started noticing that I put a negative spin on far too many things. Whether trivial or major, in my eyes things were always a little worse than they really were, a view that I realized was not good.

I came by my pessimism naturally. My mother was the kind of person who saw the glass not only as half empty, but also leaking, filled with dirty water and too expensive. While she had a brilliant wit and smiled easily, her…