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Be an Optimist Without Being a Fool


Optimism but not fool

People can get confused thinking that those of us who are optimistic might be fools. Well, for me, there is an enormous difference between being “a realistic optimist” and being a fool or, an “unrealistic optimist”. A  fool will think that only good will happen and that it will only depend on “the universe”. On the other hand, a “realistic optimist “is a person who expects the best and has the ability to balance out negative and positive things in situations, circumstances, and people. A realistic optimist works to get good things going.   

We also can find people that we can call “unrealistic pessimists”. Those overblown negative thinking, in fact, overthink far too much. They are sure that everything will work wrong for them, who knows under what motive.  Of course, we need to have a certain level of negativism. We need to be aware that even though we have had all the circumstances we could control, under control, “shit happens”, and we have to be ready to deal with it. Sometimes things just go wrong, and we have to tolerate the frustration.

What does realist optimism imply?

Well, here goes my view of it

1- Need to work hard Realistic optimistic people and unrealistic optimistic have something in common, both consider they believe they will succeed. The difference? Realistic optimistic people believe in their power to make things happen, this encourages them to try hard, insist, and persist. On the other hand, unrealistic optimistic people believe in what is called the “law of attraction,” the more you think about it, the more you visualize, and imagine it, it will happen. So, why the effort?

2 -Need to grow stronger Practice makes the expert in almost any skill. The more you repeat something your brain adapts and becomes more adept at performing that action. The human brain has the amazing ability to adapt and rewire. Hard work, and clever strategy, are very powerful forces. Makes you stronger. A realist optimist knows he can improve and pushes himself to search for better strategies, and better techniques to achieve his goals. If we challenge ourselves, our brain grows stronger to meet the challenge, and outcomes that were previously may be out of reach are possible.

3 Resilience The covid outbreak has given us an expert class on human’s ability to be resilient. To be resilient means that when something gets in your way, far from giving up, you give in. A realistic optimistic person doesn’t give up and is confident that will find a way to dig for solutions.  Remember we are resilient creatures. Seed resilience. Imagine the best outcome and work to make it a reality.

Can we learn optimism?

Yes. I think so, optimistic realism is not something with which we are born. It is a skill that we can and need to develop. We can cultivate it by combining a cheerful outlook with an honest assessment of the challenges that you might find. I consider it is important to understand the difference between believing you will succeed with believing, you will succeed magically, easily, and with no effort.

What realist optimism does is just allow you to identify what you can control and what you cant. Once you see where you want to get, you can think of the steps you have to give to get there, see the obstacles, and pinpoint the effort you would take to avoid or overcome them.

Realistic optimism for me

I invite my clients to work in the process to develop an optimistic realism. I work hard on it myself. For me, having an accurate assessment of reality, imagining probable outcomes to see the possible obstacles, and believing in humanity pushes me to achieve my goals.

While positive thinking comes with the pressure to think happy thoughts, I prefer to work on my realistic optimism and think powerful thoughts. And to me, that is much more motivating.

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