I’ve noticed that people label themselves as pessimists, optimists, and realists. When they do, they rob themselves of a huge wealth of mental power. Each mindset is valuable, and you should use them when they are most helpful.
If you combine them, they become something else entirely.
Realism is seeing the world as it is. Seeing the facts and how they work together. It’s the view that tries to see both sides of a situation. However, it often fails to see the reality of what is possible. It sets “realistic” goals, never realizing how small its thinking is.
Optimism is much better at seeing possibility. It sees what you have, it sees what could be, and it becomes excited and believes such fantastic goals are possible. But if you rely on optimism by itself, if you always expect things to go well, you will get slammed by life when it decides to throw you a curve.
That’s where pessimism is helpful. Pessimism asks “what could go wrong?” and gives an encyclopedia of answers. If pessimism is trained right, it leads to competence. Astronauts and their trainers are trained pessimists. They continually ask themselves “What’s the next thing that could kill me?” and figure out how to counter it.
Combining these states of mind leads to a better grasp of reality, higher goals, and a better understanding of what could get in the way, and how to solve the problems as they arise. If you call yourself one of them, try one of the others, and combine it with yours.
I think you’ll be pleased with the results.