Sunday, July 3, 2022

Of Optimism and Pessimism

Optimism is the tendency to look at the best aspect of things or expect good results; and pessimism is the tendency to look at the worst aspect of things or expect bad results.

Pessimists are commonly referred to as ‘haters’ amongst the youth and followers of hip hop culture. Common sense would tell you that it would be better to be an optimist rather than a pessimist but there are, infact, many people who wear their ‘hater’ status as if it were a badge of honour. The views I am about to express have the potential to offend a lot of people but that won’t stop me from expressing them and note that this is a very broad generalisation but is true to significantly large extent.

Optimists are often people with a good sense of self esteem, people who take time to understand their own unique qualities and their level of potential. This attitude extends to the people around them so they usually make very good leaders because they are good at spotting potential in others and encouraging it’s growth. On the other hand, pessimists are usually people with very low self esteem who dwell on their flaws and mistakes and barely ever take the time to appreciate their own qualities. They are usually followers who find it easier to just follow the path created by others instead of forging their own because they believe that the majority of their efforts are ultimately doomed to failure.

Optimists are very good people to go into business with or do any sort of teamwork with. They are people who are good at spotting opportunities because they don’t allow their imagination to be constrained by the limits of human doubt. They are the kind of people who are good to have around you when there is a crisis because they instinctively look for solutions rather than just pointing out the problems.

Pessimists, on the other hand, are horrible to go into business with or do any sort of teamwork with. They are masters at seeing obstacles whenever they are presented with an opportunity and convincing themselves not to bother. They are the kind of people who would be awful to have around when there is a crisis because they are likely to just fold under pressure at the first sign of difficulty. Their first instinct would be just to save themselves as fast as possible and if they do stay, it will just be to convince you to abandon the project with them.

Research done all over the world, from Harvard University in America to research institutes in Japan, show that it is beneficial to be optimistic rather than pessimistic. Studies have shown that optimists tend to have superior health, greater achievement in their professional lives, and are much less likely to suffer from stress and depression. Many developed nations have now included a happiness index as one of their development indicators and are pumping large amounts of money into initiatives aimed at making their citizens more optimistic.

All the successful people who somehow managed to overcome extraordinary obstacles in their road to greatness didn’t get where they are by always expecting the worst out of life. They got there by never being afraid to chase their ambitions instead of being preoccupied with worst case scenarios and how unrealistic their goals might be. While it may be easy to focus on all the bad things that happen in life, in the grander scheme of things, the difference between a positive outlook and a negative outlook may be the difference between achieving greatness and fading into insignificance.


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