“An optimist would rather try. A pessimist would try to die.” (Unknown) I have been accused of being both pessimistic and optimistic before and I have decided that balance in life is more important than extremism. There are benefits to both pessimistic outlooks and optimistic persistence. The key to succeeding in either frame of mind is to understand what type of outlook is needed at the moment to evaluate or encourage progress. There are many different types of futures and we do not all desire the same outcomes in life. I have found that reaching for different answers from others creates a need for optimism in the face of pessimistic reactions in people whom do not desire the same results.
As a female, I have heard that not having a husband (at the moment) or not having children (I am past child bearing in my life) creates a sad and terrible decision for women who cannot be considered responsible or honestly characteristic of female attributes. The exception to this rule in some societies seems to be a dedication of a female life to following a religious persuasion that takes the place of “earthly” answers. I have to admit, I object strenuously to this point of view. What this points up is that pessimism in our lives can be an influence from others, not just something we have to deal with in our individual outlooks. So can optimism.
People who involved in endeavors that they wish to succeed rely on one another not to give up and to keep a positive outlook over reaching their end goals. To show this, pick any example in the workplace that requires everyone to perform their job to produce the correct product and profitability. Optimism needs to be contagious for team spirit to remain. Working optimism and pessimism from a personal point of view at times is just a reaction for or against others instead of an intrinsically held personal viewpoint. I have found that setting my own expectations outside the parameters of the expectations of others is a good exercise that helps determine my actual level of optimism about reaching any given goal. Once we determine our own point of view, then we can look for others who support that point of view. Surrounding ourselves with only optimistic people can be detrimental to pinpointing trouble spots and barriers to success that “pie-in-the-sky” attitudes can sometimes skip over. On the other hand, a balance should be kept between critics and cheerleaders. To my mind, optimism is not a blind leap of “can-do” faith. Optimism prepares for success, works toward end goals, and leaves room for less positive outlooks as long as the results are not detrimental to the final outcomes. There is a difference between internal pessimistic influences and external pessimistic influences. In the end, optimism wins without self-defeating. This does not guarantee success at every turn with an optimistic outlook. I believe that we live healthier lives when balanced optimism colors our everyday world.