14 December 2005

Optimists For Reality

The Jenius looks down upon people who claim that they are realists because they are pessimists. These people claim that optimists--of which The Jenius is often an extreme example--are not realists because optimists see illusion, not reality.


Why in the name of a Fool's Uncle Fanny is pessimism equal to reality? In essence, why is expecting the worst closer to reality than expecting the best? With that mentality, We're lucky We left the trees to explore the plains. Hell, We're lucky We went up into the trees in the first place.

Pessimism--expecting results in the negative end of the spectrum--is as far from or as close to reality as optimism. There is no difference, except in the perception that results tend to be bad because they aren't exactly what you expect. Pessimists tend to be "all or nothing" thinkers: if it isn't precisely A, it isn't good.

What a crock. If We were led by pessimists, We'd still be back in the Stone Ages, although they would call it "the best world possible, given the circumstances."

Let's face it: We tolerate them, but We don't like pessimism or pessimists. Doom and gloom. Glass half-full, nothing works, you're wasting your time seeping from their pieholes. Pessimists are ultimately passive, because they simply don't feel that anything they do will make a difference. Is this the kind of person you want working with you as you try to forge a future?

No. Except: A room full of optimists is worse than one half-full of optimists. Optimism alone is dangerous because it avoids the nuts and bolts of making things happen. Whereas pessimists lack a powerful reason to make changes, optimists often lack a powerful process to do so. Ideas, no matter how great, are useless unless implemented effectively. And implementation means overcoming obstacles, first of all, by seeing them ahead of time.

And guess who's great at seeing obstacles way ahead of time? Right.

It's better to be an optimist than a pessimist. It's a matter of attitude: would you rather live in defeat or strive for victory? But to achieve the victory, you'll need the discerning eye of someone who trudges where optimists run. Let a pessimist anchor your processes, but drag him or her along in the headlong rush to create the reality--the brighter reality--that your optimism wants to see.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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