Written By : ruble chandy
Published : December 7, 2016
There are 4 types of people in this world and only 1 of them has the most probability for success.
The 4 types of people are:
The person who succeeds in the long run is a Pragmatic Optimist.
Be a pragmatic optimist by seeing the brightest future possible for yourself, while also being real about the things you need to do in order to achieve that future. See negative things for what they are while being uber optimistic about the long term. This is a great tool for you to become more successful in your life.
Start appreciating what you have now, today!
Why did I fail again?
Those who don’t pay attention to the powerful information that I’m going to share today eventually fail in whatever they do and wonder about questions like this.
Why did this happen to me?
If you practice the information I’m teaching you today you’re absolutely guaranteed to succeed in the long term. I’m not going to talk about positive thinking today. If you go to any bookstore, especially in the developed and developing worlds, most of the non-fiction books that are picked up are directly or indirectly teaching positive thinking.
I’m here to discuss Pragmatic Optimism. What is the difference between positive thinking and optimism? I personally think this has become one of the most misinterpreted works in the history of mankind. In my opinion, optimism is a mental attitude that interprets situations and events as being optimised, even though they don’t fully comprehend it at a given moment. An optimist always sees the most optimised results. If the results are negative they minimize it in their minds and if it is positive they maximize it. Optimists may not necessarily think everything is positive at a given time. Again, optimists may not necessarily think that everything is positive at a given time.
So what is positive thinking? Positive thinking is an attitude that focuses only on the bright side of people, life, and events. They always expect positive results. A positive thinker views the world from a positive perspective and trusts everyone and everything. Let’s face it. Everyone and everything is not positive. This is a major complaint pessimists have about optimists. A Pessimist says, “I’m an intelligent person who makes intelligent and realistic decisions.” He thinks all optimists are blind positive thinkers. That’s not true. Optimists may or may not be positive thinkers. So how can someone be an optimist and not a positive thinker?
Let us say you are driving in a very busy street. Positive thinking is seeing green signal everywhere even when it is yellow or red. If you see more green lights than there actually are, you have a problem. You might either get into an accident or cops might pull you over.
Optimism is seeing rainbow in the far horizon even when it is not clear. If you are surrounded with red lights, you can even make up a rainbow of optimism. But not being cautious on an yellow light or denying that there are red lights is being delusional. People who see green light everywhere might even miss the rainbow in the horizon. They might be too juiced by the current experience of positivity. Unfortunately there are many new york times bestseller teaching people to be positive and everything will turn out great. It is nice, but it will not magically turn around by just saying ‘I want to see green’. I would argue that blind positivity is a type of fear that blocks you from seeing reality for itself.
As I see it, there are 4 types of people on this planet. The first are positive thinking optimists. Let’s say a woman has stage 2 breast cancer. Unfortunate, but as a positive thinking optimist, she will say, “this is good, God loves me. I’ll pick this as a sacrifice for God’s glory. Everything will be good in the end.” There are people who actually think this way. They are over positive and optimistic at the same time. She may not believe that God wants her to be sick, but she believes that it’s a calling, a test, or a challenge which becomes a part of her. The next are positive thinking pessimists. Pessimism is a tendency to expect the worst in everything. They focus on the dark side of people, life, and events and always expect a negative result. A positive thinking pessimist might say, “this is good for me to be an example of sacrifice for my children.” Then she might say, “but in the end I will die for nothing. Everything I have built up will be gone forever.” Although she puts a positive twist on her current state, she’s drinking the poison by pessimistically saying “I will die for nothing.” The third type is pragmatic pessimist. The same woman would say, “This is horrible, but life happens. I’m a practical woman though. Let me make sure that my children will not suffer financially by paying for their college fund before I go. Unfortunately I’ll die for nothing.” Since she’s pessimistic she won’t even put up a fight. It’s only stage 2 cancer and she’s already given up on herself. The fourth and final type is pragmatic optimist. If the same woman was a pragmatic optimist she would have said, “It’s sad that this thing happened to me, it makes me feel really cheated by life, but I am an intelligent woman. Let me make sure that my children will not suffer financially by paying their tuition just in case something bad happens to me. Everything will be okay in the end. I have a mission to help others and have fun and celebrate myself. I am going to get out of this with my medication and by using the power of my amazing mind. I will become an example of courage.” Let me give you another example. Think about a garden. A positive thinking optimist sometimes refuses to acknowledge there are weeds in their garden. The gardener will just think that life is good. He’ll think, “I’ve got weeds, but life is good and they will be gone tomorrow, I know it!” He’ll add “I’m going to keep thinking that there are no weeds and I will feel good saying this repeatedly to myself. My neighbor might say there are weeds in my garden, but she’s just jealous of me.” This type of person is sometimes delusional.
Jim Rohn says “affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” I’ll take that to the next level. Positive thinking without action is the beginning of delusion. It’s a dangerous state of mind. In fact, it’s a stupid state of mind. We have challenges and some people call them problems. Welcome to life.
Let’s move on to the positive thinking pessimists in their weedy garden. This is a totally negative person, but in the immediate future they are very positive and can see the problems in the garden of life. This person is thinking, “my life sucks but let me take care of my garden.” They also don’t have a long term plan for their garden. This person is too busy arranging their desk when they need to take on a million dollar decision. There will never be weeds or flowers in their garden.
The pragmatic pessimist is so preoccupied with negative thoughts that they can’t see any good whatsoever. They are so focused on the weeds, they can’t see the flowers in the garden. “Weeds in my garden?” she asks. “Of course there are weeds in my garden, God hates me! Why else would he have created weeds in the first place? Why wouldn’t he have just given me the flowers? Forget it. There are weeds everywhere! I can’t deal with this! Let me be practical. There is no way I can have a good garden. It’s simply a waste of time. I’ll just buy flowers from a flower shop. My husband left me, I have a nasty boss, I was abused as a child, and now there are weeds in my garden? Ugh, there is nothing good in life.” The pragmatic pessimist allows these emotions to stack up and loses control of the situation. Their intelligence and pragmaticism gets clogged by the sustained negativity. What if her boss is a jerk? That’s no excuse for cursing the world just because there are weeds in the garden. Spanked as a child? So. Just pull the damn weeds and move on.
Now, are you wondering if negative thinking and pessimism are different as well? Yes they are. While both negative thinking and pessimism are rooted in dismay or sadness, negative thinking is short term and pessimism is long term. Both are distractors of your dreams. Both of them affect you the same way. You might have heard of motivational speakers recommending putting a motivational note on your fridge that says, “I’m a millionaire and I feel proud about it!” In my opinion, we need to put a note that’s a little more realistic like, “I’m poor now and I’m sick of it but I will change it through my actions.” That is what needs to be on the fridge. This will make me want to act on pulling the weeds in my financial garden.
See the challenge, acknowledge it, and make it better. Again, see the problem, acknowledge the problem, and then fix the problem. It’s very simple if you think about it.
My invitation for you is to be a pragmatic optimist. Be optimistic and pragmatic too. You can be a pragmatic optimist by seeing the brightest of your future you could have in your horizon, while acknowledging and vigorously pulling the weeds in your garden. Be pragmatic about your current experience, while being optimistic about your future self. Create positive tension so that you can work your butt off. Do you want to know who succeeds in the long term? A person who works their butt off, while being optimistic and seeing the next version of themselves. It is not the positive thinking person who sits in front of their tv all day long, pretending to attract wealth. That’s being delusional.
Motivational speakers say, “Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college and all became billionaires, so we can too.” Does this sound familiar? Did you know Joe Smith, Harry Reid, and Maya Carlos who dropped out of college? You don’t because I made them up. You don’t know them and the millions of others or 99.99% who dropped out of college and became nobody because we don’t hear these stories. We don’t hear stories of failures, we hear stories of success. I’m not a motivational speaker, but if you allow me to I can be your mentor. I can be your guide or coach who will be your clean mirror. I’ll reflect the next version of you, but you need to own it through your committed and consistent actions. We say indian billionaire Ambani was a clerk at a gas station or president Kalam was a paperboy. These are all good metaphors and you should use them for you to see the brightest side of your dream. Yet, there is a tiring and frustrating journey of dedication and commitment between you and your destination. Your dream. You need to be pragmatic in that journey. You will fall down, you’ll get injured, and you might feel as if you can’t move on anymore, but you still take action. You still push forward even when it feels impossible. If you are a positive optimist you might not survive this challenge.
Now, does this make sense to you? You might be asking yourself, “what if I don’t want to be extremely successful and just want to live a normal life?” There is greatness in a normal life. For example, if you’re a clerk at a gas station then it’s ok to be that clerk for the rest of your life. If that’s what you choose. Or, you can become the manager of that gas station or you could even buy the store. Maybe you could start a franchise of that store. It’s entirely up to you. It’s your life and you don’t need to be someone else and chase someone else’s dream. It’s ok to be you, but make sure you live in a state of ananda (in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism ananda means extreme happiness, one of the highest states of being) as you go along this journey of life.
Your intelligent action for today is the following…decide to see the brightest future you want to see about yourself 10 years from now. Again, envision what you want to see in yourself. Not me or anybody else, just you. Now look at your garden of life and do a reality check. Acknowledge that you have flowers and weeds, that is part of the game of life. Come up with a plan to pick the mental weeds from your garden through consistent and intelligent actions so you can reach your destination. As you do this, if you have any questions or comments ask me on the youtube video or facebook. I’ll be happy to answer any questions personally at my earliest convenience. If you want to get access to my videos and blogs and find out about exclusion events before the world does then please sign up on this website.
Live in ananda today. Live in happiness and joy today.