You know the saying:

The pessimist looks at the glass and says, “It is half empty.”

The optimist looks at the glass and says, “It is half full.”

Then there is the one where the realist adds his comment. “I think the glass is full of pee.”

i call myself ‘the eternal optimist’, especially when it comes to sport watching because i like to believe til the absolute last moment that my guy or team can pull it off, even at times when it is bordering on impossible.

and this cartoon from ‘Poorly Drawn Lines’ illustrates it beautifully:

Optimistic ant

with the original glass scenario, the situation has not changed, only the perspective regarding it. the optimist is choosing to focus on the positive of what the situation has presented and celebrate the existence of something. the pessimist is instead choosing to look at what is missing, and respond to the lack of a thing.

is one better than the other? personally, i don’t think the pessimist is very helpful, because he doesn’t often come up with a plan to change things. pessimism generally deflates, takes the air out of sales, slows down movement.

i do prefer the optimist [maybe cos i generally am one and think i’m pretty cool] but at the same time there can be the danger that the optimist on occasion has their heads in the cloud and their positivity can prevent them from realistically assessing the genuine possibilities in a situation andso ‘hoping for the best’ or ‘anticipating the miracle’ can replace doing the next thing that needs to be done.

so maybe the realist is the best person to have around [because no one wants to drink a glass of pee] but with strong elements of optimism to keep him hopeful, anticipationary and to help him expect the best of people, which is a strong trait of an optimist.

what about you? which of these three would you most closely identify yourself with? anyone have some positives to take from the pessimist?
and do you think it is possible to change from one to the other?