How a person feels as they approach a task can have an effect on the outcome. Your thoughts when you begin an activity can determine whether you succeed or fail. It is not foolproof. There are times when someone may have a defeated attitude and still achieve, just as there are times when a person is sure they can do something and yet fail. When you start towards any goal having a positive attitude will help you continue towards that goal even if you run into roadblocks. Believing in yourself is a significant first step towards accomplishing anything. If you can surround yourself with people who believe in you, well, you have already won!
We will often hear about the "glass-half-full" people; optimistic people are generally happier than the pessimists surrounding them. Does that equate to optimists being more successful? I guess it all depends on your definition of success. When I googled that question; four claimed optimists were more successful in the first six returns, one claimed pessimists. One explained how having both traits was essential to be a good leader. Most of the writings, success was based on wages earned. (Frankly, I have never considered anyone successful based on how much money they have, however, I know many people who do.) Here is my argument; I believe that people are inherently either optimists or pessimists. (Okay, realist, sit down. I will get to you.) Of course, nothing in this big beautiful world is black and white. There is a spectrum of colors out there and many, many shades of grey! When given a situation, if immediately you have not admitted defeat or used the words "never" or "not" in your thought process, you are most likely an optimist.
There are levels of optimism and pessimism. The "extreme optimist" might be the one you see spewing rainbows, unicorns, glitter, and butterflies in the middle of the apocalypse. (It isn't necessarily a bad thing, after all, if the world is ending anyway, what a way to go! Am I right?) The "extreme pessimist" might be sitting curled up in the corner, saying, "I knew this would happen. Nothing ever works out." Now, if you are looking at the dire situation and still trying to figure out how to get out, fix, save, or assist, here enter the "realists." Many realists are just "buffered optimist."
Realists live just to the center's left, on the optimists' side, because they are still seeking a solution, which would indicate hope. Hope is the optimist's mantra. Suppose you are (or run into) a person claiming to be a realist who tells you only what is wrong with the situation and everything that won't work. In that case, you are looking at a pessimist in denial.
You might argue that a realist is neutral; however, neutral is not engaged at all. Neutral would mean no activity, neither forward nor backward, not positive nor negative. If you are neutral, you are not taking any position. No one can live in "neutral." You have become no better than an inanimate object by trying to living there, and if inanimate, you are irrelevant. (Not to be confused with "irregardless," which is not a word and last week's blog, so let's move forward, shall we?) Neutral means not feeling anything, and as humans, we feel. It is that simple. You may be neutral on a particular subject, day, or issue, being neutral all the time, about everything? I believe it is quite impossible. No one can live there.
Now I said I believe people are inherently optimists or pessimists, but can a person change? In much that I read, it would seem that as we get older, we get more jaded and, therefore, more pessimistic. So apparently, change can and does happen. But can WE change ourselves? I believe so, but that just maybe the optimist in me!
Next week I will be answering one of the first "letters" written to me in my first installment of Wise Words. If you have anything you would like me to answer, a question of etiquette, how to approach a toxic person, whether you should wear white after Labor day, please, fill out the form below or simply email me at MommaHattie.LLSO@gmail.com
Love Lots;Smile Often