Are you an optimist, pessimist, or realist? During my lifetime, I’ve had an interesting relationship with these three perspectives. At times, I’ve ascribed to each viewpoint. At times, I’ve combined them.
In my 20’s I was an adamant optimist. I would discuss the values of a positive perspective with fervor to anyone that cared to take on the glass-half-full/glass-half-empty debate. Only optimism worked for me.
In my 30’s I attended a workshop led by Jim Rohn. He said that if you see the glass as half full or half empty you are not being realistic. One needs to recognize that the glass is both half empty AND half full. A realist knows how much is there and how much capacity is left. Suddenly I became a realist.
In my 40’s I had a particularly rough relationship I had to deal with. So, I took a pessimistic viewpoint because it shielded me from disappointment. If I never expected things to work out, I never had to feel bad when they didn’t.
In my 50’s I’ve come back to being a full fledge optimist again. This was precipitated by a conversation I was having with an HR director of a rather large company.
“Only optimism works for me,” he explained. “I can’t be responsible for the development and advancement of all our employees unless I truly believe they can and will improve.” Suddenly I became an optimist again.
Living the Dream means being positive about the good, negative about the bad, and realistic about the expectations. Thinking through life’s issues is a science. Living life is an art. Optimism will drive you forward. To quote The Little Engine That Could: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
To get the full version of my story with optimism, watch my Facebook Live broadcast found at this link: