Optimism is Based on Pessimism

I don’t want the title of this post to make you think that I am negative or pessimistic. I am actually a very positive person but I am also logical and realistic at times. This came up the other day at work. A job was coming up that I knew was going to suck. I did not know this because of a negative attitude. I knew this from experience. I joked to my boss that I was going to be sick that day. She told me that if I thought bad things than that is what was going to happen.

I understand the power of positive thinking. I also understand the theory that the “universe” gives you what you think about. I think it works, but the universe has nothing to do with it. It is your thoughts that guide your actions and your actions get results.

But you can’t just think positive or be optimistic about everything. As I told my boss, if I imagine what could go wrong, I won’t be disappointed when it happens, and the possibility that things will go better than imagined are much greater.

It occurred to me then that all optimism is grounded in pessimism. Think about it. If a salesperson says to himself, “I am going to make a sale today,” that’s great, but why not two sales, or five, or ten? Sounds pessimistic to me.

Lets go higher. What if someone thinks “I am going to be President of The United States?” Is that the best you can do? Is the CEO of Apple already taken?

The point is, to be truly optimistic about something you also have to be realistic. You can’t just say, “the Cubs are going to win the World Series next year.” That’s just being stupid.

Take me for example, I am very optimistic that at least five people will read this post and at least two people will leave a comment, think about leaving a comment, or think about what they are having for dinner tonight. Let me know because my fridge is empty.

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