Each of us responds to stimulus in different ways. Our response is often influenced by our beliefs and attitudes which in turn are shaped by our experiences, our thoughts and our individuality. One common denominator that offers insights into our responses and reactions is the mindset that we frequently display based on which most of us are often labeled as either pessimists or optimists. There are of course exceptions who get a more privileged tag of realist. While pessimism is largely considered a negative trait and optimist hailed as exemplary the realist is often ignored as inconsequential. In life, each of these traits has it’s own utility and are qualities essential for both survival and success.
Pessimists are prone to see the negatives. They will be cautious, circumspect and hesitant. Their first instinct is self preservation and as a result their lexicon is filled with words like avoid, delay, evade, be circumspect, use caution, find problems, make excuses etc. Pessimists prepare for the worst so that if their fears come true they are not taken in by surprise and instead can feel vindicated. Pessimism is considered a very undesirable trait and pessimists are largely given a wide berth by most people. However pessimism is an important trait in as much as it considers eventualities taken for granted or blissfully ignored and puts brakes on otherwise unfettered exuberance. A good pessimist is the gate keeper who is pragmatic, cautious and prepared to cushion the fall if and when it takes place.
Optimists are those who are exuberant and gung ho about everything. They are driven by the need to see the silver lining in every cloud even if there is thunder and lightning all around. Their lexicon includes words like must try, it will work, right now, make it happen; success is round the corner etc. Optimists go about their business with a daring and a sense of Déjà vu. Their dictionary centers around words like I can, must do, not hard, must try, can be done, give it a shot etc. Optimists have the added advantage of being widely accepted for their never say die attitude, spirit of enthusiasm and eagerness to get going. An optimist must however be aware of the reality, be pragmatic and be able to distinguish between ego masquerading as self confidence and misplaced bravado replacing one’s inability to retreat.
The realist is one who dispassionately assesses and goes after the results through a mix of daring and caution. Realists are grounded in their thinking, attitude and responses. They are neither carried away by the moment nor are they deterred by circumstances. Their success lies in their balanced approach to challenges and opportunities. In their thinking what works is being practical, being flexible, being creative and being result oriented. They adjust to circumstance, create opportunities, do not take foolish risks, they don’t hesitate to retreat if discretion is the better part of valor and they won’t give up unless they attain what they set out to achieve. A realist is able to live in the present, while assessing the future and learning from the past.
If you were given 5 wishes to be fulfilled, what would those wishes be? Would that wish list change if you were told that you have just one day left to enjoy the fulfilled wishes?
If you were forced to choose one of the following options which one would you choose and why?
– Losing all your material possessions in a fire
– Losing your speech and hearing
– Remaining illiterate
– Letting your worst enemy win a lottery of a million dollars
– Having to spend the rest of your life eating raw vegetables only
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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