We give a lot of praise to optimism and encourage people in our life to be optimistic as we know there are numerous benefits to positive thinking. But how about those to whom a bright outlook on life does not come naturally? Will the proverbial glass always be on the empty side for them? Well, there is a good news for pessimists as well. There is something redeeming about pessimism.
An optimist may feel they have much more control over their circumstances even at the time when he or she is pretty helpless in a particular situation. While a pessimist, looking at the same situation without the pink-colored lenses, can gauge more realistically the amount of control they really have. So, from this perspective, a pessimist can be a voice of reason when it comes to making business decisions with a major financial impact for example.
An incorrigible optimist at heart, I do see how it could be useful for us to have a token (but only a token) of pessimism when dealing with a wide range of life’s situations. As an optimist, you may, for instance, be tempted to hold on to even wrong people in your life, giving them chance after a chance, only because you believe that you have the power to change them through your positivity. Or you could find yourself stuck in a mediocre job or even waste away your years in an entirely wrong career hoping that one day things will turn around. But if you only had the ability to take things with a grain of salt, you would see sooner than later that enough is enough and it’s time to let go.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist? And how has this helped you in life?