"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimists invents the aeroplane and the pessimists, the parachute"
I came across this little piece of wisdom & I just loved its inherent message. Like most of us, I am tired of new age gurus & self help experts telling us to be positive all the time. Certainly optimism is a very powerful tool. It propels us to act & doing "invariably" opens up a lot of opportunities for us. But the pessimists of the world are not the wet blankets that they are made out to be. They just have a different perspective & to dismiss them as people whose glass is always empty is to undermine the contribution they make.
The world usually celebrates the achievements of those who do things, create things and move things forward - the optimists. But we do not give credit to those who foresee what can go wrong and point out what can not be done. Those who defused bombs before they detonated and those who ask uncomfortable questions, crib and look at the bleak side of things, so that the world can set itself right. For example, we owe so many good changes in environmental policies to those who beat the drums of environmental pollution and global warming. The pessimists predicted that the US crusade in Iraq would turn into a cul-de-sac, and see how right they have been proved.
We don't give the pessimist devil its due and encourage optimism to the extent that it becomes Utopian and that is not fair.
We must wonder why think of "pessimism" at this crucial point of time (college life &careers) when new goals are to be set & the best performances are expected from us, not to forget the fear of results.
Well, time would be the only one to infer whether you realize your highest dreams or your greatest fears come true. Then there is no point in denying the reality that is out there for you. If you are a first class pessimist, you would have already created a backup plan and backed up your backup too! On the other hand, If you don't have a plan in place, it is time to do so now. It is not whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, the point is, how do you put your attitude to use?
After all, even the most successful executive, Andrew Grove, formal head of INTEL wrote an entire book on the need and virtues of being able to look at the bleaker side of things and you'd wonder to know what the title of the book was. He called it -"Only the Paranoid Survive ".