Recently I attended a Chakra Yoga workshop at one of the yoga schools… The Facilitators singular focus was… “Stop looking at the negatives, just be an optimistic; look only at the positives.” “Look only at the White, simply move away from the Black.”
Wish it were that simple…
If asked whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, what would your answer be?
Whatever you answer is, aware/unaware of it deep down, you know are a little bit of both. An intelligent being like a human is incapable of sticking to a singular attitude. And just to be clear, neutrality is totally out of the picture! That would be one of the most inhuman attributes a human could ever develop or adopt.
Everything has an inherent Polarity…
The simplest way to explain optimism and pessimism is by referring to them as our attitude towards issues; the way we perceive ourselves and everything around us. Our optimism or pessimism determines how we deal with whatever happens in our life.
Many people are of the opinion that the way we look at things can have great influence on our actions and their results. Numerous studies and research papers prove it too. BUT then again, isn’t that just another attitude people have towards life?
Optimists think that pessimists are unhappy and narrow minded, while pessimists feel that the former lot is rather naive to assume that life is always a bed of roses. The sad truth they fail to realise is that it is impossible to categorize oneself into either of the shelves.
Optimism and Pessimism are nothing but the balance of Yin and Yang
We are all familiar with the idea of yin and yang. It the Chinese symbol for the balance of life – how good and bad, black and white are present in equal quantities is every being. It is impossible for a person to be completely good or completely evil. Life is all about perspectives. For instance, what you may find to be good may not be considered likewise by your friends or parents (much easier example to relate to, I feel).
The same principle can be applied to when we are looking at optimism and pessimism too.
The Pros and Cons of being an Optimist or a Pessimist
Optimism | Pros
1 :: As optimists tend to keep a positive attitude and they naturally appear carefree.
2 :: They are ideal to hang out with if you want to have fun. They are easier to talk to and make everyone around them happier.
3 :: Optimists are the ones to go to if you need to get motivated about something. They can give awesome pep talks.
4 :: In general, they are less prone to stress and they tend to sleep better.
5 :: Optimists always look forward to a better tomorrow.
Optimism | Cons
1 :: Sometimes optimism is dangerous, especially when you think you can take too many chances.
2 :: Optimists at times do not know when to give up and move on.
3 :: Having too much optimism can backfire, especially if you cannot empathize with the downfalls of others. There are times when you have to accept something is bad, instead of just smiling through it.
4 :: Trying constantly to put up an optimistic front can tamper with the psyche of a person, causing a split. It can even lead to a nervous breakdown.
5 :: Optimism is also viewed by many as turning a blind eye at the reality. While this is not entirely true, you cannot completely eliminate its relevance.
6 :: They also tend to rely more on luck and chances, as they believe many things around them are responsible for the events in their life
Pessimism | Pros
1 :: Pessimists are more aware of the realities of the world than their fellow optimists.
2 :: They tend to be more careful and usually consider all the risks involved in a situation before making a move.
3 :: Pessimists can easily relate to your woes and worries, so they are good listeners. They will definitely not tell you how everything is going to be okay- often that is the last thing people want to hear when they are in pain.
4 :: Pessimists can help keep you on the ground. They will prevent you from leaping into sticky situations.
5 :: They can easily accept failure and move on.
6 :: Pessimists do not believe in luck and do not play around with chances.
7 :: They are aware of the fact that life is not really under their control
Pessimism | Cons
1 :: Pessimists can be real killjoys at times 🙂
2 :: At times they tend to hold you back, when you are all set to do something new.
3 :: They are big time conservatives – cautious and ‘afraid’ of change.
4 :: They are unaware of their potential – they doubt their capabilities all the time.
5 :: Pessimists fail to identify opportunities – they focus on the problems.
They are just two sides of the coin called LIFE. Deny it at your own risk.
After taking a proper look at the pros and cons of both do you think it is possible for you to put yourself in the shoes of an optimist or a pessimist alone?
It would make more sense if you could wear one shoe from each category on either of your feet. Every one of you has an optimist and a pessimist inside you, and they are constantly in battle with each other.
Life lesson: Stop swinging too much on one side; the gravity is bound to balance this out.