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I think my problem is that far too often I make decisions as if I am in the "should universe" described here:

One of the failure modes I've come to better understand in myself since observing it in others, is what I call, "living in the should-universe". The universe where everything works the way it common-sensically ought to, as opposed to the actual is-universe we live in. There's more than one way to live in the should-universe, and outright delusional optimism is only the least subtle. Treating the should-universe as your point of departure—describing the real universe as the should-universe plus a diff—can also be dangerous.

Upon realizing how often I have this failure mode I have become more cynical to the realities of the world. But this seems to have its own problems disscussed here a bit. Basically by being a cynic and acknowledging the flaws in the world I become a whiner and end up being perhaps worse off than if I pretended the universe is the way it should be.

What I ideally would do to win is learn to project optimism and "not-cynicism" while still remembering my cynical knowledge of how not ideal the world is. Basically don't whine in public but remember why you might whine. This is very hard to do without picking up some level of cognitive dissonance though since your actions don't really match your thoughts. For some people it may be useful to trick themselves that everything is "as-it-should-be" at times through art or drugs to exhibit the optimistic behavior needed to win. This is precisely I think why not whining is so hard; our actions don't seem to match our beliefs/thoughts.

Has anyone figured out how to reach the state of behaving public not very cynically when needed while still remaining very cynical privately?