“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
I am often accused of being excessively optimistic and to some extent I am sure I am. Lately I realized that optimism must be balanced with realism. I don’t mean realism should ever cancel an optimistic point of view rather it should be used as a tool to guard against excessive optimism. I guess it is like the guy barreling towards the cliff who thinks everything will stay as good as it is if he just keeps going when it might be wise to check the map and plan an alternative. I still think everything is going to be great but I also know what I might do if things don’t work as well as I would like them to.
Mark Chernoff wrote a piece about what optimists do. Here is some of what he said:
Things Optimists Do Differently
People who carry an optimistic outlook are typically healthier and more productive than their pessimistic peers. They catch fewer colds, cope better with life’s daily struggles, and may even live longer due to reduced levels of stress. So what about you? Can you become an optimist?
The answer is: YES! Optimism is not an inborn trait bestowed on a lucky few. It’s a skill that can be learned. Here are six things optimists do and some ideas on how to follow in their footsteps:
Optimists make optimal use of all available options.
Most people get irritated by those who seem “too optimistic,” but this is usually an unfortunate misinterpretation of the difference between and optimist and an idealist.
An optimist is neither naive, nor in denial, nor blind to the realities of life. An optimist believes in the optimal usage of all the available options, no matter how narrow the supply. As a result, optimistic people are able to better see the bigger picture. They can more accurately visualize and manage the present possibilities. In other words, an optimist is simply a positive realist.
For comparison’s sake: An idealist focuses only on the absolute best aspects of situations and ignores the negatives in total detriment to reality, a pessimist sees no possibilities at all, and an optimist strives to see all the possibilities so they can find the best possible option among them.
So, when picking lemons off a lemon tree, an idealist endlessly reaches for the ripest looking lemon, a pessimist settles for whichever one is closest, while an optimist picks all the lemons in sight and makes lemonade.
Optimists expect life to be a series of ups and downs.
Just because you’re an optimist doesn’t mean you’re not going to have bad days. You will – that’s reality. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. A foundation of realism keeps things in perspective and helps prevent things from being blown out of proportion.
Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down. However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs. It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.
Bottom line: Prepare for the downs but capitalize on the ups – the former makes you sensible and the latter makes you an optimist.
“Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”
Oscar Wilde quotes
More wisdom from the kids.
Never tell your mom her diet’s not working.
—Michael, Age 14
Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.
—Joel, Age 12
When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone.
—Alyesha, Age 13
Never try to baptize a cat.
—Laura, Age 13
I am a nobody, and nobody is perfect; therefore, I am perfect.
A man showed his friend a ring with a giant diamond in it and explained that it was his wife’s Christmas gift. His friend said, “I thought she wanted a Mercedes.”
The man answered, “I know, but where can you get a fake one of those?”
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”
Edward Sandford Martin
The social studies teacher had just finished a unit on war and peace. “How many of you,” he asked, “would say you’re opposed to war?”
Not surprisingly, all hands went up. The teacher asked, “Who’ll give us the reason for being opposed to war?”
A large, bored-looking boy in the back of the room raised his hand.
“Johnny?” the teacher said.
“I hate war,” Johnny said, “because wars make history, and I hate History!”
Never moon a werewolf.
The Rabbi’s wife called a psychiatrist and said, “My husband thinks he’s the new Moses.” The doctor assured her that these delusions of grandeur were only a passing fancy.
“OK.” she responded. “But in the meantime, how do I keep him from parting the waters in the hot-tub?”
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell
Sven was looking for a job and heard that there was an opening for a janitor at the local Lutheran church. He applied for the job and the interview went very well. “You have the job,” he was told, “just sign this paper.”
Sven made a big “X” on the paper. “What’s that?” he was asked.
“That’s my mark.”
“You’re supposed to sign your name.”
“That’s my mark,” Sven replied, “I cannot read or write.”
“What? We’re sorry to work here you have to be able to sign your name.” Well, Sven finally got himself a job as a mate on a tugboat, and eventually he became captain of his own tugboat. He did well for himself and eventually had a fleet of ships of his own and became one of the wealthiest men in the community.
One day the mayor decided to honor him for setting such a good example for other immigrants, and what they can accomplish with hard work and ingenuity. The mayor says, “Sven, we want to give you the key to the city! Just sign this form.”
Sven made a big “X” on the paper.
“What’s that?” he was asked. “That’s my mark.”
“Your mark?” The mayor asked.
“Aih, I cannot read or write, so that’s my mark.”
“You accomplished all of this not being able to read or write?” The mayor exclaimed. “Just think what you could have done if you could read and write!”
“Yes,” Sven said. “I could have been a church janitor.”
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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