As humans, our reactions towards things that happen to us make up most of our day. Most of your speech, actions, and thoughts are in reaction towards something. But the reality is there are different ways of how you can react towards something:
Pessimism & Optimism –
Pessimism Definition [Google]: “a tendency to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen; a lack of hope or confidence in the future. a belief that this world is as bad as it could be or that evil will ultimately prevail over good.”
Optimism Definition [Google]: “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.”
I must emphasize that “Positivity” or “Positive Lifestyle” isn’t reality. Trying to always be positive all the time will often lead you to not face problems or struggles and will cause you to run away from your problems. In fact trying to “always be positive” will often lead to an endless cycle of unexpected events in your life. I know this from experience. You’ll be down about something, but try to be positive about it, but then get down on yourself even more because your plan to ALWAYS be positive isn’t working. Which truthfully isn’t reality. Life isn’t supposed to be all happy, smiles, and joy all the time. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be those things – but we have to realize – we’re on EARTH. We are not in Heaven yet
[All pain, suffering, and tears will absent there (Rev. 21:4)]
Earth is not a perfect place – in fact it’s an extremely fallen world. So if you’re trying to live your life by always being positive – don’t be surprised when you’re laying in bed one night and wondering why this whole life thing isn’t working out for you. Why all these terrible things are happening to you all at once and you have no idea to confront them. All your life you’ve taught yourself to constantly run from your problems.
A short part from a blog that I often like to read:
Blog: “Into Mind” MAY 3, 2012
First of all, neither way of thinking is inherently more biased than the other. Every situation bears a million different details to consider and just as many memories to compare them to. I believe that a fair balance in both pessimism and optimism is the ideal mindset.
“Explanatory styles: Optimists vs pessimist vs realists We all tend to evaluate events according to three dimensions: Internal/External – Whether we think the event was in our controlStable/Unstable – Whether we think similar events in the future will turn out like thisSpecific/Global – Whether we generalise it to other kinds of events
Optimists and pessimists tend to use opposing combinations of these dimensions to explain events: A pessimist who just failed an exam might think: “I am stupid (internal), I’m going to fail all of my exams (stable), I will never find a career (global)”. Instead, a complete optimist is more likely to think: “I did the best I could (external), I’m sure I’ll do better in my next exams (unstable), this was just a blip (specific)”. Of course all other combinations are possible, but these are the best and worst case explanatory styles to explain a negative event. If you evaluate an event as internal/stable/global it will mean a lot more to you and your entire life than if you think it was due to an external/ unstable and specific cause, i.e. the impact of the event is intensified, rather than brushed away. Optimists tend to apply the first combination to positive events and the second one to negative events, i.e they don’t let negative events affect them too much and emphasise the meaning of positive events. Serious pessimists do the opposite. When, instead of failing, they ace an exam, they are still likely to use the worst case explanatory style: “The questions were too easy (external), I just got lucky this time (unstable/specific). The best case evaluation that gives you the most confidence and influences your predictions in the most positive way would be: “I got this grade because I studied hard and am good at this (internal), my next exams will turn out just as well (stable), I feel confident about my abilities and I know that I will be successful in the future (global).”
So, what is the most realistic explanatory style? Two of the dimensions have a clear objective alternative: unstable (rather than stable) and specific (rather than global). If you explain events in unstable and specific terms, you concentrate your evaluation on this event only and don’t generalise. This means that for negative events, the optimistic explanatory style is the more objective\realistic one. For positive events, pessimists would strictly speaking be more objective, but this is where the self-fulfilling prophecy comes in: if you generalise positive experiences (i.e. see them as more meaningful and exemplary), they will influence your beliefs more and improve your future predictions, meaning that eventually your generalisations will become reality.”
I believe the ideal mindset is Realism. Being a realist will allow you to understand and look at all different perspectives in each situation you come across. Especially as a business owner I need to have this mindset.
If I am a pessimist – then I will always be negative, never see the good in anyone, and I’ll be a great boss. But I won’t be a leader. I might push people who work with me to hard to the point where they wont want to be efficient anymore. They’ll feel demotivated and lose the sight of the vision.
If I am an optimist – then I may be too positive. I may not be able to encourage improvement in areas in the business. If I just constantly say “Oh! It’s totally okay!” and with a smile on my face each and every time – Yes, I am being positive. But, No progress is not being made nor are improvements being made because I cannot press the urgency or necessity of changes/ improvements.
If I am a realist – then I am able to appropriately respond to all hardships/failures, blessings, and anything thing that comes our way. I am able to look at all perspectives in a circumstance and logically decide what is the best direction to go for future and present growth. As a realist I am able to be real with people who work with me and be REAL with them. Go over mistakes / opportunities for improvements WITH them and LEAD them towards growth.
At the end of the day you’ll want to sway towards optimism more than you can. Optimism can be an easy direction to take because realism often requires wisdom and time to think and analyze situations.
REALISM is the ideal mindset to have but it often requires a lot of wisdom. Realism is a state of mind to which you make a journey to get that state in mind. Realism is a goal for you. For now you want to be optimistic in most situations (During hardships, struggles, failures, and opportunities for improvements) you want to not overwhelm the situation with optimism. Often times a little spice is needed to get things moving.
When you wake up every day you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.
You can whine because you have so much work or be grateful that you are your own boss and in control of your own destiny. You can complain about your lack of an IT department, or be excited about learning the tech you need to know. You can grumble about your unengaged employees or do everything in your power to make them succeed. You get the idea.
Pessimism doesn’t grow your business or even maintain the status quo. The pessimists on your staff make the job harder for everyone around them. They make difficulties out of opportunities. And the worst part is that their surliness rubs off on others.
You need to be able to look on the bright side of tough situations in order to take risks, and survive both successes and failures. The sooner you accept the fact that you will have both successes and failures, the easier it will be to get your business and personal life headed in the right direction.
An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again. It may not be your fault for being knocked down, but it is certainly your fault for not getting up.
Does success or failure have anything to do with mental attitude? The answer is a resounding, “yes.”