Optimism lets us see opportunities amidst limited resources and possibilities, and pessimism alerts us of possible dangers.
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Our thoughts and feelings are impacted by our own personality and behavior, and those of others. What we have experienced in life largely determines whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. A person who had suffered misfortunes is more careful, avoids risks and may turn pessimistic. On the other hand, a person who has mostly enjoyed good fortune will have a more upbeat outlook towards life and will take more chances. Even though most people can be labeled either optimistic or pessimistic based on the dominant characteristic, having a balanced approach where both optimism and pessimism are used depending on the situation is the best approach.
How Does Optimism Help Us?
Optimism allows us to see the good in the bad. Even when you are in a difficult situation, it makes you look for opportunities to get out of it. An optimistic person can be happy amidst difficulties, and can survive and overcome the toughest of situations.
Optimism is seen as a positive quality because of these reasons. Even though optimism is largely beneficial to us, it can also blind us to obstacles. It can lead us to believe that everything will be fine when it may not be. Sometimes, it can lead us to postpone making tough decisions to free ourselves from a difficult situation.
How Does Pessimism Help Us?
It is largely believed that pessimism does not help anyone. We often criticize pessimistic people for being negative. Even though being pessimistic without reason is damaging to oneself and others, it can have certain benefits that most of us do not acknowledge. Pessimism allows us to see and evaluate the difficulties that may appear in our path. That helps in effective planning and prepares us for the difficulties that may arise.
Pessimism can only be helpful if it is not irrational. Being pessimistic without reason is harmful, but being pessimistic about an endeavor that has little chances of success can be beneficial in keeping us on the right path.
How To Balance Optimism and Pessimism
A healthy balance between optimism and pessimism where we are motivated enough to do the impossible but are careful enough to foresee difficulties serves best. To develop this balance, we need to level our optimism if we are overly optimistic, and lower our pessimism if we are too pessimistic. For achieving success, and leading a better professional and personal life, having a balanced emotional approach and stable personality becomes necessary.
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