Being Real with Yourself


I’ve been thinking about being happy and hopeful for a while now. It’s been a lifelong belief of mine that in order to be successful, you must think that you will be successful.

Researching this idea of optimism and how real we are with ourselves, I was surprised. For the most part people vastly underestimate that bad things will happen to them. They won’t be the ones to get sick, their friends will get divorced not them, their career will be filled with success and they’ll live forever. I think it’s nice that we all think so highly of ourselves, but it’s just not real.

Tali Sharot, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience in the department of Experimental Psychology at University College London, gave a Ted Talk titled, The Optimism Bias. Her research found that 80% of us have it. “We’re optimistic about ourselves, we’re optimistic about our kids, we’re optimistic about our families, but we’re not so optimistic about the guy sitting next to us, and we’re somewhat pessimistic about the fate of our fellow citizens and the fate of our country.”

As a new college graduate, I have hopes and dreams for my future that I want to fulfill. Sitting around hoping I find a job won’t do any good. Being upset that I don’t have one yet won’t help either. Putting in the tough work, making connections and continuing to work at my craft is the real way to accomplish what I want.

There’s this great quote by William Arthur Ward, “the pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjust the sails.”