I was having dinner with a friend last night. She’s facing what many of us have or will one day face in our lives – the prospect of her company being sold and the possibility that she’ll be out of a job as a result.
I listened to her map out a grim future of being let go, not being able to find a job and when she does find a job that she won’t have the same salary and benefits she currently enjoys. I responded by telling her that I’m hearing a whole lot of negative thinking and that she’s guaranteed to have this outcome if she focuses on it. She countered that she is a realist and she needs to see the situation for what it is.
I get that. I’ve been negative and pessimistic in my life. And that pessimism has been usually rewarded with crummy outcomes and disappointment. I get that we want to view our future wthout the rose tinted glasses lest we miss a critical component to our safety or success. I know that when the stakes are high, we don’t feel like we can afford a little levity or to dream about a grand future.
It’s important to be both an idealist and a realist. Risk management and logic is incredibly important, but without a looking at the bright side, you lose your ability to be creative and spontaneous.
When I became certified as a personal trainer, I had no idea what a personal trainer did. I’d never hired one before. I just figured that I like to help people and I like to work out so it would be a good choice for me. I just had a feeling that if I worked hard and had an open mind I’d be successful. I didn’t sit around dreaming about how great my career would be. I put my realism to work by looking for more lucrative opportunities.
Embracing both your realistic and idealistic sides can help you weather any storm and create adventure in your life.