A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
– Harry S. Truman
Nowadays, when people talk about optimism, it seems to be treated as a dirty word or foolishness. In many circles, hope, hard work, and kindness have been forgotten. I’d nearly dare to say that a good percentage of people alive today honestly believe that the most likely outcome in any circumstance is the worst-case scenario. With this mentality running amok, it’s worthwhile that we consider reality and try to come to an informed conclusion. Thankfully, I believe it’s possible that a positive result isn’t far-fetched at all.
Looking to the Sky to Save Me
We could delve into complicated philosophy, but I feel that the simplest definition of optimism is the belief that something good could happen. This, however, is regardless of outside circumstances. What I mean is that a person who has faith in something beneficial coming along during pleasant times is a fair-weather optimist at best. No, true optimism can weather the storms of life and come out unscathed.
Have you ever had a good day and feared there would be some consequence yet to come as a result? It’s actually a common occurrence. Too often, we convince ourselves that living is meant for suffering, and there will be payment due of anyone with a smile. My life simply hasn’t shown this to be the case, and I don’t see it in the lives of others. Incidentally, it’s almost surprising how often I see good things go unnoticed. It’s almost as if we spend so much time fearing the next wrong that we miss every right. Always make certain that you can still see the forest for the trees, and don’t abandon hope.
Optimism in a Work-a-day World
Pessimism contributes very little to the world – why wouldn’t it? The greater movers and shakers of human history have worked to maintain a healthy outlook on life. It’s only when you believe that there is something better in store that you’ll be willing to do the work today to improve tomorrow. Having a negative outlook is the most sure-fire way to destroy your passion. No matter how grand or minimal, our dreams can only exist in a world of possibility.
I don’t know your life situation, but what I’m sharing is true no matter where you are and how you live. Consider this: who would you rather work for? If your boss comes in every day with head hung low, he barely stumbles through conferences, he’s aggressive and withdrawn, and can’t manage a smile – you’d probably want to quit. There’s nothing enjoyable about that sort of work environment. That being said, the same is true of an employee. I don’t know of any employer that prefers to hire grouchy, irritable people who believe today is bad and the worst is yet to come.
In life, we generally hit what we aim at. If you set your eyes on the dull, dreary, and depressing, you’re likely to achieve it. Conversely, if you can maintain a positive outlook and feed your optimism, you might be surprised. True, life will always have challenges, but see them as just that. See every obstacle as a chance to improve! Like it or not, the greatest improvements often come out of the greatest hardships.
Dare to believe in something better – and maybe you can pull all the “realists” up with you.
Thank you for your time.