Friday, July 30, 2021

Which Is Better: Being Optimistic Or Realistic?

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The musings of a neutral entity: To be optimistic or realistic

It’s a question everyone encounters at least once in their lives-“Which is better: Being optimistic or realistic?”. As Robert Frost has so splendidly said, and I quote

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

optimistic or realistic
Frost was a great man

Life offers us innumerable opportunities to pick from. It gives us a series of choices, and the choices we pick ultimately define our future.

Now then, life is not a mere game where everything can be calculated with an exact degree of closeness to the probability of the actual event occurring. And when there is a chance that you want something happening, would you rather have it that you go at it with a realistic approach or rather with a happy-to-go optimistic approach?

optimistic or realistic
Life is not a game of dice.

While everybody prefers to think it is good to lead a happy and good life and maintain a positive attitude and let me tell you, there is no sin in thinking that way as who would not like imagining treading a path of rose? It is just that one also has to realize that the petals are ever so delicate and tear away with the slightest pressure applied on them and end up in a tangle of thorns. Likewise, it is not wrong to be optimistic. However, it is very, very (well, I cannot emphasize enough) important to know when to be realistic.

Optimistic or realistic
Knowing the difference is the key.

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Let us consider some examples that most of us can relate to:

1. A student who writes her exams without studying.
 Let us not lie to ourselves, many of us might have done this at least once in our academic life, and most still do. You know the exam (let us say finals, to get the point through) is on the next day. You know the topics that you are going to be tested on. You agree with yourself that it is not really much important to study. You go ahead and write the exam the next day. Here comes the issue. You know you did not perform that well. You might end up flunking the exam; you know that deep in your heart, yet you go ahead proclaiming that you did reeeaallyyy well and end up convincing yourself of the same.
Result time and… *BAM!* You end up failing. Not so happy, are we now?

optimistic or realistic.
See the look on that guy’s face. We don’t want that on ours.

2. Money stuff.
 Say you finally took pains and learned your lessons and passed college (school kids, let us talk about your pocket money later), and you are finally on your own. Got a job, a happy life, and what not!
You finally move out of your house. You’re finally ready to take on your responsibilities, glad to be out of the shadows of your family. Of course, if you are one of those people who has gone through financial trouble as a kid, please take a back seat and worry not, for you must have already understood what I am going to say.
Getting back to the newbies. You start working for a decent amount (please let us not talk about those IITians and other kids who bag those 1-2 crore rupees offers), and you earn your money to spend now. Who on earth wouldn’t prepare a list of stuff they’d buy with their money!?
Alas! You keep up that lavish lifestyle, thinking you have a safe backup in your family. But hey, you have to understand even they can take care of you only for so long. Now that you’re earning, it would really help if you’re realistic.

optimistic or realistic
Pearls of wisdom.

3. Ah, lovers (or, at least, aspiring ones)
  What a wonderful feeling it is to be in love, eh? How about when it is, say- one-sided? Does all the wonder seem like a blunder?
See, most people think that life is a huge thing; they have it all the time, and they can woo the person they like with time. Well, the elders were not foolish when they told, ‘Time and tide wait for none.’ People do not understand the frailty of life, and instead of accepting reality, they often try to chase around stuff that they can clearly see cannot happen and keep hoping for it.

Well.... Found the culprit!
Well… Found the culprit!

Hope, while being our strongest ally, can also be our scariest foe. You see, it can cloud reality with opulent curtains of optimism.

So yeah, the bottom line is that while optimism is quite a good thing, it would be foolhardy to replace being realistic with a misplaced optimism. We could all be optimistic realists, what say?

Or be Batman. Always be Batman.
Or be Batman. Always be Batman.

In the end, it is your choice to make, and the consequences are yours to burden. Try to make the best of it and live on!

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