An optimist is not the opposite of a skeptic, it is the opposite of a cynic.
Cynical people operate with a doom and gloom energy, an outlook that shuts down ideas before they can even start.
Skeptics are critical thinkers. They look beyond the surface and dig deeper. They also know that being a critical thinker and having a critical spirit are not the same thing, and that the first requires an open mind while the second refuses one.
Skeptical optimists believe that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel and that people can change and have the capacity to do good far beyond what we could ever imagine. They're also aware that asking "why?" isn't negative, but rather a necessary question to gain more clarity and achieve better results.
Skeptical optimists see the glass as half full but never get tired of brainstorming ways to fill the glass all the way up so that more people can enjoy what's inside.
Originally published September 2013