The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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Optimism vs Pessimism

February 3rd, 2020 by dimpledbrain

  1. The discussion on optimism vs pessimism is as old as time itself
  2. Either side of the camp hated the other side
  3. Optimism gets things done but the downfall will be from overconfidence. Every major scandal, if you observe around you, stems from this trait and blinded by this problem
  4. Pessimism views the world in a more realistic way (i.e. more accurate picture of reality), however overwhelmed by pessimism, they will not take action
  5. If you look at the book of Ecclesiastes, you might on your first impression, think that the book is pessimistic
  6. However, note that it is written by someone who had it all. It is written by an optimistic person who thinks a dose of pessimism is important
  7. Ecc 2:10-11 “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.”
  8. The book ends with an encouragement to be bold
  9. Ecc 11:4 “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
  10. However, it offers no way of balancing the two. (Ecclesiastes just drowns you in pessimism and asks you to be optimistic at the end)
  11. If we draw a line depicting this, and put optimism at 100 and pessimism at 0, ideally we would like to be somewhere in the region of 75
  12. Enter self compassion
  13. Self compassion is the concept where we forgive ourselves for the mistakes we do and in doing so we continue to forge ahead. We tell ourselves that to err is human and we continuously learn from our mistakes. We will not be like the proverbial deer caught in headlights. Inaction kills.
  14. If we are too optimistic and do not have a sense of pessimism, we will be slaughtered by overconfidence
  15. On the contrary, if we are too pessimistic, we will not take any action to better ourselves
  16. So using the concept of self compassion, be at 75 on the scale

Suggested reading

  1. Ecclesiastes (click here for the link)
  2. Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker

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