Story artist Mark Kennedy has some important and useful observations about working in animation.
... Everywhere I've ever worked, certain things have always been the same. Our jobs are very difficult and there are a lot of long hours. In the Feature Animation world, you can work for years on a picture and never really know if the film you're working on will get finished, be released, and if so, will ever really be any good. The story process of making a Feature is filled with experimentation, blind alleys and false starts. People in every department tend to get nervous about the amount of work ahead and they have to have a lot of faith in order to believe that the ultimate product will be worth all the long hours and effort.
It takes a lot more energy to stay positive and have faith in the process. It can be easier to give in to the temptation to become bitter and cynical. Working long hours and seeing screenings of the movie that don't quite work can easily lead to complaining behind closed doors and becoming cynical about the whole thing ...
If a cynic can be described as somebody operating under the philosophy: "Everything is crap, so what's the point of striving to do your best or even participating? ..." then I would say, yep, being a cynical person is a toxic, loser's game.
But that's the current understanding of cynicism. Here is the classical meaning:
Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός), in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici).
Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans.
Some little distance from "everything is crap", don't you think?
In my present mind-set, I think of myself as a "Classical Cynic", someone who sees the way things actual reality of existence yet still holds onto and acts on his beliefs.
But face it, my definition of a CC isn't quite right either. Because I'm definitely not some guy who's interested in "rejecting all desire for wealth, health, fame" and the rest of it.
So where do I come down? Just here: I think it's counter-productive to be a total cynic in the modern definition of the term, because you get trapped in your own sneering negativity. Modern cynicism stops you from acting in positive ways toward positive ends. On the other hand, you do need to be a clear-eyed realist about the way the world actually works. Otherwise, you'll waste a lot of time floundering around, tilting at wind-mills that are going to remain wind-mills no matter how long you attack them.
So maybe the words I'm looking for are "active, clear-thinking realist" instead of classical cynic, since the c word has been pretty thoroughly corrupted by its modern usage.