The Optimist and the Pessimist

We all fall into one of two categories. We may be a combination of the two, but we are primarily one or the other. I have heard people who are pessimists justify being that way by saying they are realists. Hmmmm. I think they are wrong for the following reasons:

  • Pessimism is rooted in fear. Optimism is rooted in hope.
  • Pessimists think they can’t. Optimists think either they can or they might.
  • Pessimists wallow in the dark. Optimists find the light.
  • Pessimists tend to be self-absorbed. Optimists tend to focus on others.
  • Pessimists love to draw you into their drama. Optimists avoid drama unless it is at the movies.
  • Pessimists follow up your advice with, “Yes, but….” They have an excuse for every option you throw out. Optimists listen without rebuttal and consider the options.

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” 
― James Branch CabellThe Silver Stallion

The good news is that we can choose to be optimistic. There is a scripture that tells us to take every thought captive. Let that sink in for a moment. If you could take every thought captive, what would your world look like? Would it change your outlook on things? Would it change the way you talk to yourself?  Would it change the way you see and treat others? I am betting it would!

Next time you have a negative thought about yourself, someone else, or a situation you are in, take that thought captive. Replace it with something positive. Having an attitude of gratitude goes hand in hand with optimism. Learn to be grateful for the little things in life. Ungrateful people are always pessimistic. Which will you choose today? Will it be the glass half full, or the glass half empty?

Zig Ziglar said we need a “check up from the neck up.” I love that. Zig called pessimism stinkin’ thinkin.’ It is only when we get rid of it that we can see life as it really is: a thing of joy, beauty, hope, and love. That is a reality worth pursuing, isn’t it?

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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