Finding the Balance Between Optimism and Pessimism

There is a sharp contrast by which we split the ideal optimist from the pessimist – the supposed stark dichotomy between optimism and pessimism. This makes us recount the former as pleasantly good and condemn the latter. However, in actuality, we’re only acting the sheer believer.

Optimistic people are fun to be around. Many research works tell the significance of being in the clique of those fitting in this description. They rub off some of their healthy enthusiasm on us; occasionally, that’s the recipe we need to make things happen.

The optimists’ position is usually promising even when one is moments away from imploding. They envisage awful circumstances with their rose-coloured lenses. And yeah, for what it’s worth, that’s a valid point of view.

However, just like other human behaviours, optimism can be taken overboard. Unfortunately, this is what’s applicable to many lately. We hate being told our dreams could hit a roadblock. Or rather, we would fail multiple times, even with our skills. I bet no one would love to hear that failure could be the central feature of their life. Yeah! Those are cold realizations. More than often, a sane mind wouldn’t entertain any of those.

Meanwhile, a pessimist doesn’t want to have his hopes high. He braces himself for the bleakest of results. Some could attribute this as a coping mechanism not to have hopes downed, but sometimes, it is reality.

Many a time, the stances of optimists and pessimists are credible. One that says amidst the challenges, there is light at the terminal of the seemingly endless dark tunnel. Or another that blasts out the chances one could be treading the abyss.

Again, something else about both tenets is that they could be clouding. If you loiter with the thought of either for long, you could make a fallacious existence in either incline. Imagine an employer who assigns employees more work to compound their already rigorous schedule because he believes they can handle it. It’s common knowledge that the stress factor alone can tromp the expected outcomes from these tasks.

The same goes for another who drowns himself with the thought of hitting rock bottom. Even for a project he hasn’t embarked on yet.

The above instances exemplify our typical state today of blind optimism and uncomely pessimism. We fail to acknowledge reality. Sometimes, we even garnish it with the concept of “faith” and “fate.” And maybe it is; who knows? Also, maybe it isn’t but rather tropes we’ve adopted to evade the truth.

That brings us to finding the balance between this duo. We would get that by making ourselves think of things as they are. Except we are unwilling, we get most answers we seek from things that already are. Not what we think them to be.

As it stands, it’s not a state of whether or not optimism and pessimism are good and evil. They could co-exist. It’s a matter of finding where they collide gracefully. And this junction is none other than in realism.

So next time a motivational speech auto-plays on your social feed, resist the urge to flare up at the speaker verbally. Likewise, do not be quick to think the sun has no place atop your roof at the first stride of challenges. Even though reality could be sore, thinking things through profoundly— taking one step after another— makes you find that balance.

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