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Optimism vs. Pessimism


There were days when we felt optimistic about certain things - our hearts brimming with confidence, only to be met with disappointment when things do not turn out as how we expect them to. Did you still felt optimistic thereafter?

There were also days when we feel pessimistic about certain things - not having the greatest hopes, only to be surprised with a pleasant outcome right at the end. Did you still felt pessimistic afterwards?

An OPTIMIST is defined as someone "who usually expects a favorable outcome" (Source). The optimist sees an opportunity in every problem and are therefore able to turn them into beneficial or profitable undertakings. They see how an occurrence happens for the better and how changes can be improvements. They are positive and open minded. They say "Yes" to a lot of things and to them, anything and everything is possible.

A PESSIMIST on the other hand is defined as someone "who expects the worst" (Source). The pessimist sees the threat of all problems and puts opportunity under scrutiny because they are wary of it. They see change as a disruption to the equilibrium. They are negative, judgmental and are suspicious of things, often saying "No" as they believe most things to be impossible or improbable.

I don't think either of the above is better than the other. Instead, I strongly believe that a mixture of both characteristics can produce a sum of attributes that are far more superior. A strike of balance is always the best way to go. Here are some examples of how optimism can meet pessimism and produce a more effective 'ism'.

1. Think big and dream bigger, but scrutinize your dreams and turn them into actionable goals that can be achieved so your dreams can turn into reality.

2. Keep an open mind so opportunities are not missed out, but be critical and judgmental of all opportunities so you are able to perceive things accurately without falling prey to misguided buzzes and hypes that aren't too realistic to begin with.

3. Say "No" as much as possible to the good things in life to give yourself room, time and freedom to say "Yes" to the great things in life.

4. When judging impossibilities, find out what makes what impossible and how it can be made possible. When judging possibilities, find out what is improbable and focus on the most probable.

5. Seek not to be positive, nor to be negative. Seek the truth and face facts, no matter what your feelings are toward it.

As you can probably see by now, both concepts of optimism and pessimism can strike a harmonious balance. It's only a matter of what kind of a balance you prefer: Being a pessimistic optimist, or an optimistic pessimist.

"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute." -- Gil Stern

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