Foolishly Optimistic — Is There Such a Thing?
We’ve all heard the phrase “foolishly optimistic”. Perhaps an individual in your inner circle comes to mind when you hear this phrase. In some cases, this person might even be yourself. I know when I hear the phrase I think about myself. I’m not going to pretend that I’m always happy or that I never get down because that would be a flat out lie. What I am saying is that some people are able to be put in difficult situations and keep the attitude that it will be okay no matter what. Some people are able to see that there is more to life than their current situation, struggles, or hardships.
I don’t necessarily think that this is something that is a natural trait in people so much as I believe it is something learned and practiced. There are two sayings that I came across that were so powerful that they have stuck with me in every situation that starts to drag me down or make me feel like life is out to get me. The first is very simple and straightforward. It is more a slap in the face “duh” saying than anything but it is something that I say to myself in my head constantly. “Worrying Never Changes The Outcome” — The first time I read that, it hit me like a ton of bricks. If you really think about the meaning of that, there is no way that it can be disputed. Worrying has never done a positive thing for anyone ever. So that got me thinking… instead of worrying, what can I be replacing the time and effort spent on worrying with? In that thought process, I realized that I had found my meaning of optimism. My meaning is simple and it is as follows: Replacing worry with logic and using that logic to navigate any situation. This in turn leads to positivity because you are challenging yourself and that creates excitement. How many instances can you think of in which you challenged yourself from within and didn’t feel excitement and optimism? I can’t think of any.
The next saying is as follows: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. When I read that it was instant mind explosion! This one, to me, as opposed to being a slap in the face, sent me off on a thought journey that can only be compared to an afternoon of YouTube suggested videos of the mind. Where I eventually landed in my rabbit hole of thought exploration was something that was forever life changing. See, when someone uses the phrase “foolishly optimistic”, they are referring to someone who is so optimistic that they are not in touch with reality. However, if life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it, then it is safe to say that my reality is not the same as yours. In fact, nobody’s reality is the same as the next person because “reality” is a perception. It is what our mind, body, and soul believe to be real. What you know to be true is undeniably true. I’m not one who debates other people’s beliefs due to this logic. I personally have some very strong beliefs (that I try to keep out of certain writing) that I know not everyone agrees with and that’s fine. I have my reality and you have yours. Furthermore, reality is what you choose to accept as the truth. If you believe that we wake up, go to a job we hate every day, work until retirement, retire on a very fixed income, and then die, that is your reality. If you feel like you can’t do something to change yourself for the better, or look beyond normal to become what you have always dreamed of being, that is your reality. This also applies in reverse. If you believe that you can go out and crush your goals, accomplish your dreams, become the person you’ve always wanted to be and do what you want to do, that is your reality. If you believe there is more to life than what society has deemed to be normal, and you choose to take a path less traveled with hope that you will discover something great along the way, that is your reality.
“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” — Steve Jobs
I would like to make this as a closing statement. To me, a true fool is a person who has knowledge and chooses not to act on it. Knowing that your reality, attitude, and perception is yours to change, shape, mold, and control is extreme power. What you do with that power is up to you. There is no such thing as “foolish optimism”. There are only those that choose to look past what is right in front of them and make the best of any given situation.