News this week that optimists may live longer than their opposites will leave people feeling hopeful and pessimistic at the same time.
Hopeful that if they try really hard, they can look on the bright side, yet pessimistic because, you know, what are the odds.
Researchers in the US have identified optimism as a psycho-social asset that plays a major role in helping people achieve "exceptional longevity".
And by that they aren't talking about playing in the NBA.
They mean living to 85 or longer.
Optimism was defined as a general expectation that good things will happen. Something Knights fans will be unfamiliar with this season and which indeed led to low longevity, for the coach.
Another way to frame optimism is to believe that the future will be favourable because we can control important outcomes.
Something supporters of the Australian cricket team will leave on hold until after the fourth Test, having squandered the chance to grab the Ashes in the third.
Researchers studied nearly 70,000 women for 10 years and nearly 1500 men for 30 years.
The imbalance in gender and study time wasn't explained, but perhaps they worried the incessant whingeing of grumpy old men might skew the result.
The most optimistic men and women demonstrated, on average, an 11 to 15 per cent longer lifespan.
Big numbers that suggested optimism has the potential to extend lifespan leading clinical research psychologist Lewina Lee, PhD, to muse it "may be modifiable using relatively simple techniques or therapies."
The most effective being, you'd think, staying alive.
But what comes first: optimism or longer life? The chicken or the egg, the embryo or the optimistic old duck?
The study found that optimistic people tend to have healthier habits which tend to keep the grim reaper at bay.
This seems incongruous medically speaking, because you'll never meet a more optimistic bunch of people than those who think they'll live forever.
Some will say that it's not the amount of years in the life that matter, but the amount of life in the years, which could be another way of saying they're worried about falling short of the magical 85 due to a life of poor choices and what not.
Bottom line, it seems you should try and believe it, but don't stress because that could be counteractive.
Even if optimism doesn't help you live longer, it probably won't hurt believing it does right up until the moment you get hit by that bus. And even then some.
If you've tuned into the fabulous ABC series Old People's Homes for 4 Year Olds, you'll know the key to quality of life, no matter how old you are, is having something to look forward to each day other than death.
It might seem obvious but using that as a KPI for optimism will probably put you well on the way to outliving the experts no matter what age. Fingers crossed.