Shall we go to the forest? the optimist asked. The realist responded no is too dangerous, it’s cold, it’s going to rain, let’s go back home.
The optimist said “If we don’t go we will never know the hidden treasures behind the bush”. The realist laughed ” don’t be silly behind those bushes there is nothing but grass”.
They both went back home. Behind the trees laid a sandy bay with a crystal blue lake they never got to see.
This is the classic story of a realist’s excessive caution. Realists tend to say ” this is what there is, I’m not a pessimist I’m a realist”.
The optimist on the other hand is so curious, he doesn’t mind to go far. The world is his playground.
The optimist is not crazy. He knows the danger. He tries he fails, he tries again.
I feel this story resonates with many of us. How many times we’ve been stopped by someone telling
that idea is just too ridiculous! The truth is realists are extremely risk averse. They can’t go further without knowing the exact outcome. In addition, family and friends may warn you because they don’t want to see you in tears.
Ironically, not matter how prepared you are, unexpected events will punch you in the face. Things can go wrong even if you take all the precautions.
Optimism is irrational according to the realist.
Qualities of a risk-averse personality:
- Excessive precaution
- unwilling to take risks
- Predictable behaviour
Qualities of an optimist:
- See the path and visualise the goal
- Take risks no matter how big they are
- The end goal is greater that any obstacle in front
You don’t know the final outcome but who does? While is good to take precaution, quite often the worst case scenario is not that bad after all.
So why not cross the bush? the realist will consider all the options and make assumptions based on the risks. The optimist will go further even if the forest seems unwelcoming.
In the blog The Positivity Solution Shola says “optimists are more mentality tough and resilient contrary to popular believe we are very aware of the surroundings. But this doesn’t mean we will stop of pursuing our dreams”.
Unfortunately, Western culture is based on fear. So being an optimist is like being a parrot out of a cage. The assumption that optimists are too naive is ingrained in our culture. Optimists are perceived as “fake” or “irrational”.
Yet, if you look back in history you’ll find thousands of stories of people facing the odds and coming out successful. It’s not fear what made them successful, but the positive mindset to keep trying.
So many times I’ve to heard people saying “that is not going to work, it’s too complicated. If all great inventors of the 20th century had listen to that crap, we wouldn’t have half of the things we have today.
The more you try the more chance of success. As Shoa says there is nothing wrong with optimism. We don’t live in a bubble, but we try harder.
So every-time you heard the phrase ” that is impossible, it can’t be done” don’t listen to another “realist” weighing the risks. Yes things can go wrong but also can turn out well. Give your ideas a go.
You don’t know the outcome until you try.
The realist stays the optimist flies.