Growing up we are always told that we either see the glass half full or half empty. It has been said that “It always seems to be raining harder than it really is when you look at the weather through the window.” There are many other saying similar to this one that always seems to favor an optimistic mindset. However, this does beg the question of whether it is better to go through life with a happy go lucky point of view or is it more beneficial to have more of a calculated and skeptical outlook?
When we think of a pessimist we immediately think of someone who is very negative and by definition yes that is what a pessimist is. However when we really start to look into how a pessimist thinks we can begin to see that they aren’t really negative more calculated and worried people. A pessimist will usually plan for failure rather than success which at times can seem very grim, but in their minds, they see it as planning a different route. There are obviously different degrees of pessimism ranging from the annoyingly negative to the cautious however with a certain balance of cautiousness and worry a little bit of pessimism can be a beneficial thing to help motivate and drive you to make more articulated decisions.
Now we shift to the opposite, generally, we think of an optimist as a very happy go lucky person, and protagonist if you will. People who are optimists are generally very hopeful and positive people and seem to draw people to them. There is no doubt that having an optimistic view of the world can help you, however along with the positives, there are also drawbacks. When you view the world only through the good you sometimes miss the negative and that can lead you into situations that could be quite problematic. Optimists will usually enter situations without considering what could go wrong and this can lead them to make hasty and badly thought out choices. But along with these drawbacks, there is no doubt that an optimistic outlook can make you a more exciting and friendly person, making social interactions more enjoyable for you and anyone else involved meaning which leads you to be more extroverted and social.
Personally, I see myself as a mixture of these two personality traits. I try to see the hopeful side of things but I often find myself wondering about what could go wrong or the possible downsides of my decisions. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing as it allows me to make more articulated decisions and has benefited me throughout my life. I think that the best way from my personal perspective, to summarize pessimism would be with the quote, “It always seems to be raining harder than it really is when you look at the weather through the window.” When you think about it, this does really make sense because with pessimism you only try and understand what you see whereas with optimism you are always trying to see past the bad and what is behind it in the good.
Optimism and pessimism are both needed in this world you cannot discredit that. As was once said, “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.” With that, it really gives us a very good look into what these traits can help us achieve. So with that, there is no real answer to whether we should have a pessimistic or optimistic mindset, however, a balance of the two is what I think would be the ideal outlook. To see the good and the bad is what helps us to be both safe and hopeful throughout our lives.
“It always seems to be raining harder than it really is when you look at the weather through the window.” George Bernard shaw,