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.”
There are, like life, so admirably provides, innumerable opportunities to consider choices presented in a certain situation and make decisions that not only affect the present but pave the path to all possible consequences.
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?
While everybody prefers to think it is a good thing 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. It is very very (well I cannot emphasize enough) important to know when to be realistic
Let us consider some examples most of us can relate to:
Result time and… *BAM!* You ended up failing. Not so happy, are we now?
And then one day you 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 the 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. Being realistic helps, doesn’t it?
See, most people think that life is a huge thing, they have 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.
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 misplaced optimism. We could all be optimistic realists, what say?
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!