Optimism, Pessimism, and Realism in Economic Change

Hints of change bring them all out. First the pessimists who want to see it as all bad. Then the optimists who want to ignore all negativity. And last, the realists who balance the facts and determine what is best to do no matter what.

Pessimists come in two types:

  • Those who delight in the bad. They rub their hands in glee, exaggerate the negative, and find delight in the misery and hardship of others. These are the ambulance chasers, and the gossips.
  • Those who want to wallow in despair. They believe themselves incapable of happiness, and each negative thing around them serves to increase their conviction that life sucks. Good things are ignored, or not even recognized. Every hope is an illusion, every light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, and if events prove otherwise, they are certain there is some trick to it, or that it will not last.

Either type of pessimist poisons the world around them, drip by drip of acid from their negativity.

Optimists also come in two types:

  • The unrealistic people who state over and over that if you just believe that nothing bad will happen, then nothing bad will happen. Problem is, bad things DO happen whether you think they will or not.
  • Those who tell themselves over and over that nothing bad is going to happen, because deep down inside, they fear that if it did, they could not handle it. Blocking out potential negatives is the only way they can cope, because they do not have the self confidence to believe they can succeed in spite of challenge.

Optimism can be just another form of pessimism. It just wears a different mask, but it is really just hiding the same face of low self confidence.

Realism is the balance between the extremes. Yet realists are accused of pessimism by those who call themselves optimists. Rather silly, because realists are, at heart, optimists – the difference is, they DO have the self esteem to believe that they can succeed in spite of opposition. If the worst happens, they know they can handle it.

The realist looks at the facts. They consider whether there is validity in all the circumstances. When faced with potential challenges, they do not stand around wringing their hands about it, and they do not gossip and blow things up to be worse than they are. Nor do they minimize or dismiss legitimate concerns.

Rather, they weigh the evidence, and act accordingly. If it is likely that challenges are coming, they develop a plan of what they will do if it happens. They don’t lose a lot of sleep over it, and they are not scared of negative things, because they have considered the potentials and they have prepared.

Realists are willing to face potential negative situations, because they know they are capable of surviving, and thriving, no matter what. They see both the good and the bad. The good is acknowledged with gratitude, the bad is faced and dealt with heat on.

Change IS happening. Much of it is not good. It is not likely to get better any time soon. But that is ok, because I am prepared, and I am confident that I can succeed even in the face of economic hardship. I have a plan for my business that will allow it to go forward regardless. I have a plan for my life that will make me better situated to cope with it. I am not afraid to face challenge head on, because I know I can cope, even if bad things do happen.

I can be happy even if I don’t get what I want.

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