“Optimism is the scent of life” said Tonino Guerra in an old commercial, inviting people to buy consumer electronics products.

That pay-off resonated in my mind as I reflected on a fact that emerged from the Eumetra Companies and Energy Efficiency Observatory (the syndicated survey that has just ended): companies that have a positive sentiment towards their own and the country’s economic situation are more likely to invest in energy efficiency measures.

“Eh thank you”, you will say, those who foresee a good availability of resources are more inclined to make investments; however, it is unlikely that all companies that foresee business improving over the next 12 months already have orders in hand.

In other words, Tonino Guerra – with his usual poetic traits – was expressing a fundamental concept, of which modern economists are now aware, namely that economic behaviour is not only rational, that is, economics and psychology go together. According to the old theories, Homo œconomicus was always able to maximise his own utility when faced with the horizon of choices; in particular, it was believed that he could lucidly and comprehensively examine the information at his disposal, identifying all the possible decision alternatives and their respective consequences, and then choose the option that would guarantee him the maximum benefit.

It has long been agreed that – if economics wants to represent the thought processes of individuals in its theoretical spectrum – it cannot limit itself to a simplistic representation of mental functioning. Instead, it needs to base its models on a richer cognitive architecture that takes into account the motivations, desires and goals of individuals. Including emotions does not mean that chaos triumphs; on the contrary, emotional aspects can reinforce rational choices. We know how motivation can work miracles, for example, by finding new solutions to problems that were insurmountable at first; or that decisions are generally made by instinctively selecting the two or three variables that are most important to us, leaving minor variables in the background in order to reduce complexity and not paralyse us.

At the end of the day, energy efficiency allows us to reduce unproductive energy consumption and lower energy costs, as well as reduce carbon emissions, so it is a rational choice. Optimism scents life and can help make the air more breathable!


Well-being Pills is an optimism stimulator. It is used in the treatment of widespread negativity and contemporary anxieties. It contains opinions, peculiarities, confidence-inducing quirks, all rigorously extracted from Eumetra’s proprietary surveys. No contraindications or side effects are reported. The recommended dose is 1 pill per week. It is preferable to take the product on a full stomach, to combine its effects with those of a good lunch.