I’ve been seeing a lot of motivational posts on optimism.
Y’know, those hipster images that encourage us to discard negative thoughts and live for the joy of god and such.
The thing is, I don’t think being pessimistic is all that bad.
Optimists often go on with daily tasks thinking that at the end of the day, their efforts will bear fruit. They’ll get the juicy product of their labors and all their sacrifices will be worth it.
Pessimists on the other hand immediately assume the worst. Mom is fifteen minutes late? Probably a car crash. I am now an orphan. Group project for class? Most likely, I’ll mess everything up for everyone and not meet the deadline. I’ll fail this class.
If you put it into perspective, optimists are able to go on because they see something worth striving for. They hold on to this little ray of hope to continue. ‘Think positive’ is the mantra, no matter how shitty your day is turning out to be. At the end of it all, you’re learning/achieving/making something
Then what motivates the pessimist? They’re scared. They don’t want to expect anything in fear of being disappointed. Whatever they’d find in this figurative end of the tunnel is something frightening and unpredictable.
But they go on. They do it without even expecting much.
To some it might be a sad way of life, heaping this much unnecessary sorrow on things that have yet to happen. I beg to differ. Because when you set your standards low, so long as you still try (albeit resignedly), the unexpected triumph seems a thousand times sweeter. It’s like finally feeling a freezing drink slide down your throat in the middle of a scorching summer.
I’m not saying it’s better to be a pessimist. Neither am I implying optimists suck because they need to have some bone dangling in front of them to function. A little too much of everything is lethal. Be an optimist when you want to be. Be a pessimist if you feel the need to be. All I’m saying is that either mindsets have their purposes and whatever suits you best should be what you choose. Whatever makes you feels safe. Whatever makes you happy.