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Optimism and Pessimism - Does it really matter?


Thanks to Tom from Colorado for requesting this topic. Many motivational and inspirational speakers try to focus on optimism. Not a bad choice. Let's face it, building people up is our goal. However, the world exists based on the concept of conflicting views. If everyone agreed and was the same, the world would be quite a boring place. I am not a fan of drama, but there will always be some form of drama in everyone's life. Let's say, it helps to keep us on our toes. The real issue with drama is not the drama itself, but how we react to it. The another large factor in life is balance. For each of us, we need to feel or have some sense of balance in our life. Without it, life would be total chaos. Will the world ever achieve total optimism or pessimism? Of course not. It defies all the rules of human nature, the human condition. Personally, I would not want to see that. However, what I would like to see is people with conflicting views, for whatever reason, communicating better about them. Remember, a closed mind will never sees what their eyes do. That's a form of living in the dark.


Let's just review the two terms for a moment. An optimistic person looks at things with a positive attitude. A pessimistic person looks at things with a negative attitude. Quite simple and basic. Both of which, could be harmful depending on the situation. In no way is this an attempt to tell you how to perceive things. As the above imagine states, it's your choice. This post brings some reality to the equation. For me, I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I am REALISTIC. Meaning, I look at each situation for what it is. No sugar coating it. At times, that can take me either way, but in a sense, that is balance. Whether I view something as negative or positive, it does not affect how I react to it. That is only step 1. Most people do not understand that:


Looking at the triangle above, this visually breaks down the process for you. First, you are presented with a situation. Depending on whether you are a pessimist or an optimist will determine step 2. How you perceive it. That choice will lead to the final step 3, how you will react to it. The peak is the critical part. This is where you decide how you perceive it. This is greatly determined by your attitude. If you are a pessimist, you will have a negative reaction which can cause your reaction to cause more harm than good. If you are an optimist, you will take a positive approach which can lead you to expectations which can further lead you to disappointments.

So you see, both have their downfalls. Which is why I am a realist.

At the peak, a realist will take this approach. "Hope for the best, but expect the worst." This leads to no expectations and little or few disappointments. You can now take the best approach DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION, NOT YOUR PERSONALITY. Yes I know, it's easier said than done. However, a realist will almost always have a better handle on every situation and feel far less fallout. Your decision in most cases will be a better one. A simple fact to understand is, EMOTIONS ALWAYS CLOUD THE ISSUE. That is not to say that emotions should not be considered. They simply come in during step 3, rather than step 2. Looking at and accepting the facts should always come first. Once you have a handle on that, add emotions into the mix and stir it up. Look at all the possible outcomes. Once you have done this, you can effectively decide how to react to it. The outcome can still be positive or negative, but it will be real. The one that will most likely occur. This is also a form of conflict resolution. There is no point in resolving something that you constantly have to revert to. Therefore, is it really ever resolved?

DO YOU GET IT? - Summary

I have a very basic approach to life that works for me. It does NOT mean it will work for you, but if what you are doing now isn't, try it. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. When we break everything down to its simplest form and start from there, we reduce the potential for complications, and it also can help to change or modify our behavior. None of us are perfect. We all have good and bad behaviors. Why not try to reduce the bad ones.

With all this said, you see, it doesn't matter whether you are a pessimist or an optimist. I would venture to say that if you are totally one or the other, it probably isn't working for you all the time for one reason or another. Not every cloud has a silver lining, and things do not always go your way all the time, just as much as not everything that happens to you is bad. You may find out in a short time, it was a blessing. It's how you react to things that matter, and that is determined by your perception and behavior.

Thank you ..... Caesar Rondina


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