We live in times of optimism. Of salespeople. Of positive psychology. Of advertising. Of Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, salespeople, you can do it!
Guess what, there is nothing wrong with pessimism.
Optimism causes people to see things for better than they are.
Pessimists expect little, and are happy when they get something.
The optimists expects a par on a hole, the pessimist expect to hit a tree and is happy when he catches a fairway.
The optimist expect a great meal, the pessimist expects to eat and is happy when his expectations are exceeded.
The optimist puts out huge goals, and expects to meet them.
The pessimist puts out expectations for things to be terrible, and is surprised when they aren’t.
The optimist looks at a report and agrees with rosy outcomes.
The pessmist looks at a report and looks for what’s wrong. Guess what, something often is. Guess what the makers of the plan might be optimists and not looking for worst case scenarios.
The optimist sees something like the mortgage business doing wonderfully and high-risk debt everywhere and sees opportunity. The pessimist sees high-risk debt without high interest, and expect things to crash. The pessimist looks deeper. The pessimist doesn’t think yes is the best answer, because guess what it’s often better to say no and be accurate.
We don’t need a world of only optimists. We need pessimist, we need those who can see negative outcomes. Despite the fact that our culture is one of self-esteem where “everyone succeeds” at least in school. The world isn’t like that. The world will knock you down. Sometimes you just need to be happy with what you got, and not expecting the world to come.
Such opportunism theory can lead to debt, can lead to overspending. Sometimes it’s good and to have perspective that you are doing ok.
I noticed going back for my 20th high school reunion that in New Jersey people are constantly striving and looking for something better. In Maine, they look at their life and say I am doing allright. I have a house, I have a family, I have a job and am able to have a beer and a decent meal. What else do you need?
I prefer the pragmatism of Maine. Guess what not everyone is going succeed. We often need the pessimist to see failure, before it happens. Don’t forget that.