“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.” – Voltaire
Lately i’ve been bugged by some people’s optimism, and I find this quite… AMAZING!
Yes! Finally, it’s come to a point where a line needs to be drawn.
Don’t get me wrong, if it’s footloose, fun and fancy-free i’m in!
Here comes the big but (and I cannot lie): It can go overboard.
A positive mindset is what gets us to reach for the next branch on our way to the top of the tree. Unless, well, you’re grabbing a twig that wouldn’t support a weevil with an eating disorder. Then your next choice is which part of your face should dampen the fall. I’d go for the Garfield.
Therein also lies the key to how a positive mindset coupled with learning from our experiences could help us get back up that tree.
A negative mindset would keep our ass firmly planted on the grass.
I saw a perfect demonstration of these two contrary mindsets at a company just the other day.
The optimist said that a part for a product would surely fit onto one from another supplier without even trying it first. The pessimist said that it surely wouldn’t and that they shouldn’t bother trying.
So, Schrödinger’s cat was both dead and alive.
It turned out that the optimist was right. The problem was that the optimist was ready to blindly trust this. Now the person got more evidence that being positive is the solution to everything! On the other hand the pessimist wouldn’t even have tried. Fortune, oftentimes, favors the brave. This is because of the will to try and try again.
To sum up: Optimists try out stuff more often but are more likely to have a long fall if they don’t consider the repercrussions. Pessimists may be too careful to reach the higher echelons of existence or may not even try at all.
Yeah, once again we need to explore the extremes to find the optimum solution somewhere in the middle. As we say in Swedish: “Lagom” (just right).
But, oh, how boring unless we use those extremes!
Here’s an example of how to utilize the extremes to get to the middle.
You have a project with a deadline in 2 weeks, s’cool. You jump right in with reckless abandon and throw stuff around and see what sticks.
Now it’s day 12 and you’re in the corner rocking back and forth. “I… I just can’t deal right now, ALRIGHT!?!”. Take it easy Phil, just asking if you wanted some coffee, jeez!
Boring as it may seem you might want to take the pessimist route on this. Look at the scope of what you need to get done, try to plan your work and see if there’s any leeway or what you can delegate. What resources will you need? Look, you wouldn’t get in a car and drive somewhere you haven’t been without having a spare tire, extra gas and a map.
Well, some of you saucy daredevils probably would. Wouldn’t you? Rrraow!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems we can proceed to actually being optimistic and enjoying the ride! Things might happen that are out of our control, then we just have to have faith that we’ve set ourselves up to meet those challenges. Or… We could just stay home with a bag of chips and watch “Orange Is The New Black”. You never know whose tits are going to explode next!
Be negative, be positive and above all be real! Let all your feelings have their say!
Now, here to offer his insights is the man who introduced this little post: Voltaire!
“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” – The definition of optimism, love it!
“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” – We can’t control EVERYTHING, we can only try to set ourselves up for success and trust that we can handle whatever comes our way.
“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” – When we see no good, we strive to create it. That is optimism.
“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.” – Where have we heard this before? Wink, wink!
“Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.” – We have urges, we shouldn’t try to deny them and kill them. Instead we should accept them as a part of us but not necessarily act on them.
“The best is the enemy of the good.” – If we strive for perfection we’ll be too busy with the process of getting better that we won’t show the world where we are right now. And right now, we’re good enough.