Both perspectives on life have their advantages and disadvantages, pessimism makes you more realistic about life but optimism allows you to achieve huge goals. I also recently heard that pessimism makes you live longer, optimists are more likely to get in accidents or become disabled. But there is more to discuss than this.
Are You An Optimist Or A Pessimist
Is your glass half full or half empty? If you go through life constantly seeing where things could go wrong, if you are more likely to see the floors of something than the positives then you are a pessimist. But if you go through life thinking that everything you see has potential, if you think new ideas could always become great and life can always be better then you are an optimist. If you feel confident in your own ability then you are a optimist but if you always feel like a failure then you are a pessimist but, what is better?
Hope And Confidence
Optimists go through life often with a greater confidence in themselves and their own abilities. They believe they can control and shape the world around them, wether this is realistic expectation of themselves is up for debate, but it does make them feel great. Pessimists are more likely to believe that their lives are a result of their surroundings, they may feel like they have no control over their life. I think that as far as having hope for the future goes you should believe in yourself and be an optimist. Want to know how to gain confidence? find out here.
Optimists are more likely to believe that the risks they take will work in their favour, this can work in their favour and give huge payoffs, although it can easily take everything away from them. Pessimists will approach risks with caution, they will take the slow and safer route to success. Often pessimists will deal better with risk taking, they will get more payoffs than not and usually make consistent, if a bit slow, progress. Approach risk taking with a bit off pessimism but always look on the bright side. Read my post about risk taking for more information.
Optimists often live happy lives, much happier than pessimists. Whatever the situation they are in they can find some way to smile, how great is that. I think that you should always seek happiness in your life and that should be your main aim. If you can find a way to be happy without being dependant on your environment then nothing can phase you. But sometimes their blind optimism can result in dire and unseen consequences that can knock even them down. On the other hand pessimists generally live a less happy life, full of despair and misery (bit of an exaggeration but you get the point). But the benefits of being a pessimist is you are less likely to experience unseen consequences, they plan for the worst.
There are conflicting views on the health benefits of being either a optimist or a pessimist. Study have shown that optimists often have better hearts than pessimists with a lower rate of heart disease and are less likely to get sick or get the flu, they always look on the bright side. However the pessimists are more aware of the consequences of their actions, they adjust their daily habits to prevent bad health with good health insurance and a good diet. They are also better equipped to deal with stress using what is called ‘defence pessimism’, the low expectations they have of themselves mean that when they fail they don’t care. In my opinion though, that is not good, no one should ever become content with failure even if it does result in lower stress. Read more about the health benefits of optimism and pessimism here.
What Should You Be?
Don’t stick to one or another, gain control over how you view the world and adjust it to the situation. If you are about to invest a large amount of money then air on the side of caution, optimism can’t make stock prices rise. But if you are coming up with a new idea look at how it could work and be improved, don’t focus on it’s floors, you need to believe in a product to sell it effectively. This goes for you too, believe in your own abilities and believe in what you can achieve or no one else will. Believe in yourself so you can show people what you can achieve. But whatever you do, try and be happy whilst you do it. Be a pessoptimist.