One of the life lessons that have accompanied me most consistently throughout my life is to maintain a very pessimistic outlook on life. I think of life as a losing battle. All the forces can one day work against me, except the forces emanating out of myself. I take the quote, “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you” very literally.
It sort of conditions my mindset to balance itself out – when I get too pessimistic about big picture things I get back to finding something productive to do.