Optimism Vs. Pessimism – How Your Beliefs Guide Your Journey Through Life
09 September 2017
I sometimes wonder if what I’m about to post is a little too “philosophical” to talk about on this blog about self-development. Because many other articles on personal growth and success often get right to the point, stating that “If you want to achieve THIS , you need to do THAT several times a day and in 30 days, you will get exactly what you want.”
However, personal experience revealed to me countless times before that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. For instance, I was initially made to believe that the surest way to quick success, is if you play it smart in the corporate world. If employed and if you “play your cards right” it should take about 3 or so years in one company and you will get promotions over time. If not, hop on to another company and try again.
Things didn’t turn out that way for me. Nor did it look like I was heading in that direction in the foreseeable future at the time.
But what was really concerning, was that trying to pursue success or a better life this way was having a negative impact on my mental and physical health.
“Playing your cards right” was a crazy concept to me once I got a slight understanding of it. I truly couldn’t do it. It wasn’t something I could stand. A lot of what you are required to do is certain places… is just downright insane.
This obviously works for some people. And this probably plays out differently for others. But as far as my own life/future was concerned, it wasn’t playing out in my favor.
I eventually gave up on trying to pursue success that way. Eventually, it seemed like I gave up on trying to pursue success entirely.
But the more I just let time pass me by as I did nothing significant… the more I grew frustrated. You could see the defeat on my face and in my speaking.
I almost got to a breaking point when I asked myself one important question… aren’t I capable of succeeding my own way? Is there no other alternative to the pursuit of success than through one which I cannot bear?
I forced myself to believe that there was. I was done feeling gloomy and miserable.
I decided that success didn’t have to be a “members only” club for me. Where only a certain group of individuals could succeed. I wasn’t going to allow circumstances and current situations and even people from telling me who I was or who I was going to be in life.
Somehow, I figured that success was going to largely be a result of personal effort. That I would be able to somehow attain the life I wanted… the way I wanted to pursue it. I knew that pursuing success would be hard regardless the path you chose. But I was going to chose problems and obstacles that I would prefer to overcome.
That is where my self-development journey started.
For years, I have been studying people who have made the kind of success I’m interested in… from the past and present.
Paying close attention to those that began with very little or nothing. Who began only with a desire and mediocre plan at best.
These people I studied and continue to study to find out how they managed to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in their lives. Obstacles that often stop the majority of people from even attempting to pursue success.
In my world… these people are great.
It is not the wealth that they have accumulated that impresses me. Nor does the power and influence they have over the people that respect them.
It is simply their ability to overcome the challenges that seem too difficult to even be thought of… by everyone else.
No 30-day strategy to success can accurately show you how such a personality is developed.
You cannot just become successful by action. No 12-step program can universally transform people into high achievers.
Before any significant transformation… there must be belief. The belief that one can be and attain.
That belief must grow from a burning desire to transform.
Nothing can stop the person determined to get the life he/she feels they deserve if they will relentlessly put in effort regularly to try attain it.
Not a sentence, not an action, not a society and not an external mind-set fixated on negativity. Nothing.
The power to believe in yourself is the most important part of your being that you are going to need to develop before you can achieve anything great in life.
Your beliefs are what shape your life right now.
If you truly believe you cannot accomplish anything great, this ultimately plays out in your daily life.
If you believe that there is absolutely no need to TRY pursue that which could take your life to the next level… well… that’s exactly what you every day is. There will be no trace of daily tries.
So if you truly feel that there’s more to your own life than what you are getting… then you have to believe that you are all that you need at that moment to take yourself to the next level.
Am I saying that you are all that you need to become a fully stacked company wearing all the hats? That you are CEO, finance person, marketer, researcher, product developer… etc.?
But you are the person with the idea of what you could have.
You are definitely the one to get things in motion.
Whether or not you will be the person in charge of everything should not be your concern at the early stages. Things will play out naturally as you get more an more involved.
It is faulty thinking to accurately figure out how you will be organized in the future. Anything could happen in-between now and then. You could learn things that affect your decision-making process by then. You might meet people who are more suited for things you are not.
But anyway, without diving too deep into specifics of what you might or might not do… it’s important to understand that your beliefs tend to reveal more of what you believe in… over time.
I find this is why pessimists continue to be more pessimistic over time and optimists become more optimistic over time.
The older a pessimist gets, the more cautiously he/she makes decisions. The less risks they take. The have evidence and reasoning to prove that things are only going to get worse in the world because they have spent a majority of their time paying attention to the suggestions that things are getting worse. That time really is running out.
While in contrast, optimists believe that the best is yet to come. As the years pass, they see more and more opportunity to grow and develop. By focusing on what is happening right with others, and how others are overcoming challenges… they themselves get motivated to produce similar results in their lives. With consistent and never ending practice… time is the greatest asset in the hands of an optimist.
We are optimistic and pessimistic based on our world views.
And how we choose to see the world greatly affects our ability to achieve the things we want in life.
If we look at the world as a large and scary place that is getting worse and worse because of the economy and other factors… that is what our lives will be about. We won’t be able to live comfortably around those that feel the opposite. We will think they are crazy for being “blindly” optimistic.
As a result, we tend to pass on our fears and beliefs to those around us. Hoping they see the wisdom on our perspective. We will build cases against our children pursuing things that aren’t safe and practical.
We will avoid pursuing careers in industries that have no job security and etc… We will ground ourselves to whatever little of the world is left that is… safe.
On the other hand, as pessimists, we see the world as a vast ocean of opportunity. We read between the lines of the all that happens around us and realize how to turn hopeless situations into prosperous ones.
We spend time with people who like solving problems instead of just complain about them. We attempt to share this world view by helping people envision the positive changes that could come from introducing ideas into the society.
We are thrilled to witness our children challenge themselves to pursue industries no one in the local community has ever tried. We assure them that even though they fail… they will not suffer those defeats till the day they die. Instead, that they will witness first-hand what should and should not be done when attempting that particular action.
We will not be afraid to leave toxic and uninspiring career paths and shall pursue that which we want to do most… not because the job is more “secure” but because we get to deal with the problems we want to deal with and not ones that have been burdened upon us without consideration of how we want our lives to turn out.
We will surround ourselves with all those who want more for themselves and who aren’t afraid to work towards it.
If you are a dreamer, or anyone trying to pursue something significant… then welcome to the single hardest pursuit in the world.
People will think you’re crazy, jobless or unimportant… but the truth is that you are doing something they would never attempt themselves. You can certainly do what they do… but they would never step foot in your world.
Stand tall and understand that you do not need to accept the negative view of life that most pessimists have. You do not have to wake up every morning with fear of failure. Instead, you should wake up with the enthusiasm of a winner.
Winners aren’t pessimistic. Unless they have won by chance. In which case, they will never hold on to that victory unless they stumble upon good fortune for the rest of their lives… or become optimistic.
Show me one victory by a pessimist… and I will show countless, sustained victories by optimists.
Stay as far as you can from those who see failure when they look at you. Seek the company of those that are just as hungry to see a better life for themselves as you are.
Do not tolerate the negative talk of those that have no significant victory to their name. Their reasoning often seems to make a lot of sense in the moment… but you will be surprised how quite they become in the presence of one who has actually succeeded in that specific industry.
Stories of those who can’t or couldn’t do it, shouldn’t interest you as much as stories of those that could and have done it. It is absurd to pursue success filling your mind with information that does nothing to suggest progress/success.
Would you really get driving tips from one who speaks non-stop about how driving is a waste of time?
If you have the question, “How do I get better?”… do not seek the answer from one who responds by saying “Getting better is a waste of time.”
Was that really the answer to the question you asked?
Everyone is a highly qualified professional of NOT doing if they choose to be… but few can stand confident telling you about how they actually have done or accomplished something.
I hope you can understand my stand on this argument of how our beliefs shape our reality.
It is important to guard your mind and heart from those that are toxic and negative. It is important to actively seek the company of those that will help you grow… because naturally that is what you want. You do not want talk that doesn’t bring growth.
Ever noticed how a negative person can convince you that you are wasting your time pursuing something… yet can never give you a detailed plan of pursuing some alternative? Especially one that would lead to YOUR guaranteed success. Usually they feel that it is not their responsibility to do anything for you beyond telling you what you can and cannot pursue.
Never forget that this is your life… not theirs.
What I strongly realize now… is that success is nothing more than the bi-product of a mind-set. So is failure.
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