Beware of Optimism

December 16, 2015

In my last post, I made mention that I have pretty much neglected one of the topics.

Of course, that was because topics do not always come to my mind that interest me so much, or are important to think about in any kind of perspective that I can give for one reason another.

However, somethings have happened recently that have kind of changed that.

As many should know from my recent posts, I have been maintaining a publication of something like a newsletter for a church that I attend, and I have received some complaints that I have been a bit too negative in a few of the publications and that I needed to have a more positive outlook on things.

Unfortunately, that church seems to think a bit too highly about looking at the positive side of things that they do not realize that there is actually something in between optimism and pessimism that is not too easy to obtain, but is possible, unlike trying to go for the gray path of what fiction refers to as the light and the darkness.

Today, I thoughts that I would talk about my thoughts on optimism, even if I am not exactly an expert on the subject.

From what I have already said, people may be thinking that I do not really have that favorable of a view what people would call optimism, or seeing only good possible outcomes of a scenario.

In my eyes and experience, however, some bit of optimism is good. After all, I would not be able to see any of the upsides to things I have read and tried to accomplish after tackling the hassle that they were.

On the other hand, the possibilities of a negative outcome should not be ignored entirely in favor of looking for the good in things.

For example, a writer, like myself, though I have been slacking off a bit in that area, may think that their work is going to just fly off the shelf the moment the work is published online or gets a space in a bookstore, but that is the least likely thing in the world to occur.

While it can work out for some people, depending on whether or not the work is actually good, especially since every country has books that are considered classics, but are not really that great at all, the vast majority that try to do it will fail.

The same is true of what a family member was trying to accomplish by selling something on eBay.

Like me and my somewhat low sales figures for my stories, that family member was expecting to rake in the cash just by listing the item on eBay, thinking that somebody is going to find it during its run on that site.

Unfortunately, they never saw a dime from trying to sell the item on eBay, and I told that person that it was because we never really tried spreading the word that they were selling something eBay, much like how I earned only a few dollars from selling my stories because I was not really that active in getting the word out.

Even though optimism could have helped me to get more sales by talking about my stories more than worrying about what online reviewers would say about the work, as I knew that they were not perfect and had some flaws, which is unavoidable with anything made by mankind, it would have also helped that family member to realize that they cannot just sit back and think that whatever they were selling would be sold.

Selling anything, regardless of whether it is goods or services, requires work to let people know about it so that they can check out that item or service, before anyone is going to rightfully praise or complain about what you have to offer others.

Not only can optimism ultimately hurt a person when selling goods or services, but it can also affect one's ability to properly solve a problem.

Now, I have not encountered every kind of problem out there in the world, but as many people know, I do know quite a bit about things concerning the world of computers, though certainly not everything, which is why even I have people that can figure out problems based on what I can see and what I know, and one thing that has really helped me solve problems is something known in the computer world as the troubleshooting steps.

Out of all the steps of troubleshooting, which includes identifying the problem, establishing a theory of probable cause, and testing said theory, not one of those steps is helped out when a person is too optimistic about what they think is the problem, which can happen when somebody has too much experience, since they are more likely to assume something is the cause before they ever try to investigate something.

In fact, one time, one of my church leaders thought that an issue I was having was because of me being impatient, instead of what it really was, which was issues in communication with a fellow parishioner.

Now, I am not going to fault them too much, because I did not give the leader every single detail, which in itself is important to solving a problem, considering the one experiencing the issue is most likely not really going to see what details are important and which ones are not, unlike an outside observer, but because they were too optimistic about the fact that they thought I was being impatient, they did not really solve my problem at all, as I was still a bit afraid of being around that individual.

The only thing that one can be optimistic about is their strengths, whether that be an eye for detail, which many people have noticed in me, a good memory, or the person's tenacity.

Taking all of this into account, both the fact that optimism can lead to some people being lazy, as I have noticed, many of you might be asking what kind of perspective is truly the most ideal, because I have painted optimism in quite a negative light, even thinking that pessimism might actually be better overall.

However, even pessimism has its downsides.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, I have put up some of my stories for sell online, and while there are some of them that I am more proud than others, I did not really get the word out because I was worried about things that I should not be worried about.

That fear, along with other concerns that I do not want to talk about, did not really help me get my name out there as much as my anime, manga, and book reviews have, seeing as there are quite a few people and/or sites linking to things that I have posted online, not counting the listings I have made myself.

Fortunately, people can change and I have been more willing to share the stories I have written with the people that I have met, but that does not change the fact that I have some responsibility about not letting other people know about my work.

In addition to affecting one's ability to make money, pessimism can also hurt relationships.

In my church, members tend to feel pressured about getting into a serious relationship and marry, which some people believe is because the church wants to have more control over the person's life.

While I do not know exactly what the truth is, because I cannot put my complete trust in either the church that I attend or the people it deems as enemies, regardless of whether they view themselves as enemies or not, I have definitely felt pressured from my peers to get into a serious relationship with the opposite sex.

Although many know this already, I tend to have a bad outlook on the prospect of being in a serious relationship, because I do not think that there are that many women out there that will be able to accept what it will mean to spend their life with me, due to what I have said in my review of Case Closed Volume 54, even if I am quite capable of doing a ton of things for myself.

Of course, my limitations are not the only thing that gets me down about being in a serious relationship with the opposite sex, but it is also because of what I have heard the members of previous generations in my church tell my female peers they need to look for in a man, which I either have not fulfilled or cannot, either because of what I know and understand today or the questions that I have developed because of their own scriptures and what I see, such as one that claims that our ways and thoughts are not God's ways or thoughts.

Yes, I can do things like putting more trust in people, which will help relieve my worry of whether or not the person I decide to spend the rest of my life with can handle what that would mean, but the latter is going to take quite a bit of work to overcome, especially consider how much it has been a part of my life before I started feeling that that particular church may be actually be the equivalent of somebody who thinks and proclaims that they know a deity's will when they really do not know what it is for certain.

Okay, so pessimism and optimism is not the answer of how to approach things, and the question running through the mind is how should things really be approached.

While my opinion may not be the answer to everyone's problems, I would say that we must approach things realistically.

When one approaches things from a realistic standpoint, they are more likely to notice both the good and bad, and be able to see what will actually work for them.

For example, let us say that one was troubleshooting a computer, and has gone through and got details and reached the point where they can have a theory about what they problem is.

An optimist will either tell the client they fixed the problem and leave the client to their own devices, or, if the person doing the service had too much experience, would go in and implement their solution without asking questions and leave the customer to their own devices.

However, somebody that is a realistic, or pessimistic, since many who are optimistic think that those who are realistic are pessimists, according to a post on Glowball Web Network, is going to not only gather enough detail and test their theory, but they will also have their client test whether the solution that he or she implemented works or not.

By having the customer verify whether or not the problem was fixed and checking themselves if the solution they found was the answer, it is going to actually be more likely that the client is going to be more satisfied with the work performed and the person providing help can actually add to the list of things that can fix an issue.

After all, even though we all might experience the same problems and struggles, one person's answer to a problem is not going to be guaranteed to be the answer for another person that has that same issue.

Not only is a problem more likely to be solved with a realistic approach, but success in other endeavors is going to succeed as well.

In this instance, let us take somebody that is trying to sell goods to people.

He or She can have all the confidence in the world that it will either help people or entertain them, but without taking precautions against negative outcomes, like not getting the product into somebody's hands to make a profit, they will ultimately fail and blame the wrong individual.

However, somebody with a realistic approach can sings praises of their own work to attract customers, and they will also be able to see what they did wrong in not being able to convince people that he or she has earned their dollar from the sale of those goods, even from the negative reviews that his or her products got from the people who paid for them, though there are also those times in which feedback is not that helpful, such as when somebody says that the product was garbage and does not work without giving any details of what that person tried to do, or if it is software, what version of what operating system.

Unfortunately, because some people put things out there without much effort, many have to rely on people like me, who have actually tried out the product, to give our opinions and judgment on whether or not something was good, even with its flaws, or it was complete and utter garbage, especially because there was too little, if anything, that was good, which I hate to see, because I really want to tell people about the good and the bad, so that they can make their own decisions.

Still, that does not mean that humans cannot improve and actually find out where they made mistakes, but optimism to an extreme will never allow such a possibility to occur.

While there are some benefits to being optimistic, it is not going to guarantee success because people that are too optimistic will not plan for the risks, whereas somebody that is realistic is much more likely going to succeed because they are going to take responsibility for the mistakes that they have made and be confident that their work is good enough.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think that optimism is as great as people make it out to be or do you realize that both the good and bad must be acknowledge? If you do not subscribe to the belief that being realistic or optimistic helps people, do you think that pessimism is a much better option and why? Feel free to comment.

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