Hal Elrod Optimism Pressimism Realism

388: Optimism vs. Pessimism vs. Realism: Which is Best?

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It is much easier to be optimistic about the future when you are actively creating it with intention and doing so out of desire and not fear.”

Hal Elrod

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Do you consider yourself to be an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist? Optimism, pessimism, and realism are three different paradigms that impact how we approach life and interpret life’s events. For some, they’re even identities.

When we face difficult times, our dominant paradigm tends to become amplified, which can be the determining factor in whether we suffer or thrive.

I’ve experienced this in a unique way. For many years of my life, I was what I would call a delusional optimist. While this helped me through some difficult times, it also stopped me from healthily processing negative emotions and events, and I had to learn quite a few tough lessons the hard way.

In this episode, I want to dive deep into the differences between optimism, pessimism, and realism–and help you identify how these paradigms can be most useful and effective as you optimize and make the most of the life you live. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What it really means to be an optimist, a pessimist, or a realist.
  • Why so many self-identified realists are focused on the negative–and why it’s just as realistic to be excited about the possibilities and positives in life.
  • The dangers of blind or delusional optimism–and how it can make it extremely difficult to process or make sense of negative emotions.
  • An exercise you can do to truly understand what’s going on in your life and reframe your reality.
  • The genius of being able to hold two opposing ideas in your mind simultaneously.
  • The ABCs of realistic optimism.

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