That glass with water in it to a 50% capacity mark

There is almost always an opportunity to be unhappy. Life can be brilliantly beautiful and yet an individual can still choose to find how horrible things are or will become. I’m not talking about depression, but rather the poor cognitive habit that people can develop that turns them into pessimists.

Often, pessimists might claim they are not pessimists but realists. They understand the risks that may come in a particular situation and want to be cautious. They might feel that optimism is for the young, naive, and delusional. However, being realistic is an interesting claim to make, because optimism and pessimism aren’t about the facts but the interpretation and desire behind those facts.

If we were being realistic, the glass that’s either half full or half empty exists in a context. Maybe you filled it up to the top and have drunk half of it. If you want more of the drink, you’d be more inclined to call it half empty. If you wanted less of it, you’d be more inclined to call it half full.

There’s also social convention at play; how many people legitimately refer to a cup as half full? The statement may or may not actually reflect the optimism/pessimism of the individual who says it.

In order to be ‘realistic’, one has to acknowledge both the opportunities and risks with a course of action. A pessimist might miss the opportunity, an optimist might miss the risks. It’s rarely a boon to be on the extreme either way in the long run.

In some ways, the question of glass-half-full or half-empty is a question of trust. It’s an indication of how a person feels the world around them is worthy of their trust. Do they want to blindly trust others or shut themselves off? Like most things, the answer is somewhere in the middle.

However, my focus is on pessimism because people are rarely consistently too optimistic. It’s good to be careful, but fear can go overboard very easily. Gratitude is the best way to help temper our habits of becoming too shut down. Of course, things can go wrong. At least one thing always will, life is unpredictable. The truth of the matter is that we need to be careful in watching why we’re being careful.

Are assuming the worst because you are afraid? Are you assuming the worst because you’ve been hurt before? For those who claim to be realistic, are you actually taking probability into account, or are you making an interpretation separate from the stats?

 

more problems than a mathbook

The beginning of the week is hard. Then the middle comes, and it feels even worse. Then, sometimes we can even find a way to make the end of the week difficult. The facts are, life is far more challenging than we want it to be. The reason we often don’t realize the ‘best times’ of our life is that no time is so perfect that you can’t find fault with it. We get used to the level of stress, and if it isn’t that strenuous, we often find a way of making it so.

As humans, we need some sort of conflict to keep things interesting, and to motivate us. Without problems, we would truly be miserable. Our problems are our own, and help define us. Sometimes we may mistake positivity as somehow enjoying difficult situations we find ourselves in– this isn’t what I mean to argue. Instead, our problems are necessary parts of our lives that we need to continually fight to overcome. Like any good superhero fiction fan knows, the best rivals are the ones you learn from, respect, and never give up fighting. That doesn’t mean that our problems are easy to deal with, or that people will all suffer the same amount. It means that we should take our problems on as something we can overcome, and as something we will learn from.

Come what may, you are far more capable than you realize. Our beliefs can either hold us back or open us to new areas. Our limits go out farther than we assume, and most importantly, we don’t face challenges alone! Everyone needs and uses support, so use others and appreciate them in all you do. You can do this! Whatever it is, you can get through this.