I would classify myself as an optimist, more often than not. I will always try (and usually succeed) to look at the bright side of life. When everything falls apart, there is almost always a ray of sunshine for which to be thankful. As an optimist, you are not ignoring the negative things which come along, you are focusing beyond them and seeing the brightside, or the farside of the situation. Being an optimist doesn’t mean being naïve, it means being positive. Optimism is appreciating the lessons learned in life’s worst situations, and knowing you can apply them to the future.
After a whirlwind trip to Russia, the connecting flight from Germany was delayed. The result of this delay was missing the flight from Toronto to home. There were no more flights to be had the same day, and this resulted in the airline putting us up in a hotel overnight, and giving us $25 (or $30, I cannot remember) for supper/breakfast at the hotel.
We had a choice in this situation, be sour about missing our flight, and upset we had another overnight before getting home, or be happy we were getting a free hotel room for the night, we were being fed, and we could travel well rested the following day. Same situation, two different ways to look at it. Whether the positive or the negative view was taken, the situation would remain the same, only attitudes would change.
There are many people who are pessimistic in their outlook on life. I am sure we all know someone who is like this, or maybe this is you. Pessimism is a negative outlook on life, and I can only imagine must be very taxing on an individual who lives with the dark cloud of doom over their heads. Here is a basic conversation with a pessimist:
Optimist: “Boy, this thing looks great.”
Pessimist: “Nah, it will be terrible for a myriad of reasons.”
Optimist: “It’s a shame you look on the dark side of things so often.”
Pessimist: “I am not being negative, I am just being a realist.”
Realist is a word I feel is being misused too often to justify a doom and gloom attitude. Being a realist does not justify optimism, or pessimism, it simply says there will be a happening, and I will need to deal with it accordingly. You have a choice in how to deal with the happening. The optimist, and the pessimist will agree on this, “Stuff happens.” Realistically you can choose to be optimistic, or pessimistic in how you react/respond to a situation.