I am always encouraged by optimists. I am also hesitant to buy their claims.
I grew up with a step-father who sold Real Estate and a Dad who sold everything not requiring a license. My step-father always warned not to count on a deal “until it’s funded” meaning he was a big pessimist. Contrast that with my Dad who, in addition to being a professional gambler, always had a sales job or sales business. My Dad constantly bragged on this deal or that one, most of which never came through. One pessimist, one optimist.
The pessimist seemed to enjoy life very little. I never knew if we’d live another week in our house or have to sell it short. I hated the gloom and doom, but looking back, I guess I learned not to count unhatched chickens (I just wish there’d been a more pleasant methodology). That dose of realism has helped me work harder.
The optimist enjoyed life very much until he grew old and the broken promises haunted him. He was a pain to live with because the new cars, trips, and college tuition never came through. But I loved the optimism—even rainy days were sunny. Looking back, I learned to look forward and expect the best, which has allowed me to be happier.
Interestingly, the Bible teaches BOTH approaches, but it leans toward optimism because it counts on God. Yes, be an optimist! Have a positive outlook that expects God to keep his promises, but be careful what you bank on when it comes to your work. God never fails, but people often do. Proverbs is very clear about not talking up promises when the barn is empty. It’s also clear that being negative is like cancer in the bones! And who wants to be around someone who sneezes toxic negativity? Nobody!
The Wall Street Journal posted an article that drives home the science of worrying a little bit. Don’t fall under the spell of reading only the part with which you agree (a common issue for human brains). A mixed approach anticipates problems and enjoys every win.
For you optimists, I wish you all the best. I hope your dreams come true. For you pessimists, I hope none of what you fear happens.