Harnessing the dual energies of optimism and pessimism


Out of two thinking patterns, I thought that the pessimism was doomed and optimism was the only way to go. A lot more recently I’ve come to understand that of course there are merits to both of the thinking patterns when used correctly.

We have our natural temperaments tuned to either one, however we can also train our minds to certain extent to see to world in a different light. One such way is priming your mind by journaling and finding three positive things from each day. Another way is gratitude meditation.

To try, to get to action the optimist spark is very useful. With gloom outlook we are rarely going to try anything if we do not think we have a chance to succeed.

Pessimist outlook is not particularly bright about the future, that’s exactly it has tremendous potential power to prepare for the worst cases, see the risks and minimize all the possible negative consequences.

What I suggest here is to channel both energies in where they are most useful. Worry can be turned into action of researching and thinking of the worst cases, the optimist spark into long term vision which can help us to handle the gloom times as well.

It is possible to have both of these gears, another option is to have people who have different kind of thinking tendencies than yourself and listen to that. Acid testing ideas with different mindset, and especially worst cases are a mature way of going about things. Once that all is done, we should light the candle of optimism and trust that the shelter we build for the fire is strong enough or even if it’s not we are prepared and competent to face the storms.

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