My daughter just accused me of being just a little too peppy this morning, while hanging over her cup of coffee. I am, absolutely, a morning person. But I am also an Optimist…or rather, a Pragmatic Optimist.
The difference is that an Optimist is a little too sunny for me with no regard to risk management. A Pragmatic Optimist is someone who, once weighing the potential risks, CHOOSES optimism, while safeguarding against the largest of risks.
Having said that, the choice for Pragmatic Optimism helps me feel better about the world, I see people as being kinder and more giving, I expect the best of a situation and that all flows towards me. A series of studies in Europe concludes that optimism ultimately results in better health as well!
An example of a Pragmatic Optimist would be such as this:
Imagine I was presented with a job offer for a situation I had always believed I would love. But my job here is secure, I have family here, the new job is in Europe while I live in Canada, and there is no guarantee that I would love it.
My brain works like this then: Pros and Cons and Optimism!
Pro: new job that is my calling, a chance to explore a new country, I could learn a language!, make my mark on the world, my family would expand their horizons as well, other family could visit, I would be revived intellectually! The Sunny Optimist!
Con: I might not like the job as much as I think, the people might be standoffish, what if I can’t pick up the language?, I don’t know anything about the country, what if the job doesn’t work out?, what if my family hates it?, the kids schooling might be messed up!, I’ll miss having poutine. You will notice that all of the Cons are fear based.
Pragmatic Optimism: Well, the job here or another like it will always be available to me. So if I don’t like the job, I can always come back. I will start language schooling before I leave to get ahead of the learning curve. I will research the country and my family and I will plan vacations and places we want to see while we are there. I might have to live apart from my family for a short time until school is out. I can learn to make poutine.
I CHOOSE to safeguard for the bigger downsides and CHOOSE to get excited and GO!
What about you? Pragmatist? Optimist? Or something in between? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Today will be awesome because I CHOOSE it. I hope you do too!