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Optimism

There’s a thin line between stupidity and optimism. For example, people who are always late. It seems like being consistently late is pretty stupid.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plan for and take whatever steps necessary to be, where you need to be, when you need to be there. Clocks are easy enough to find. Smart phones have clocks. People wear watches. The guy on the radio periodically announces the time. I know more than a few people who arrive well in advance, just to make double sure they are never late. Some even worry about it. Might we not even call that person a pessimist? Always sure something will go wrong and providing for the eventuality.

What about the optimist? What about Mr. glass half full who tends to believe there will not be traffic, the car will not be low on gas and that most people will stay home making his journey simple, easy and on time. Maybe these are just optimists.

How do we know where the line is? At what point do we separate the rejects on American Idol from the undiscovered artists who might be this generation’s Bob Dylan? Music mentors are quick to say
“Never give up. You will face rejection but you must persevere” but we’ve all seen contestants who are clearly tone deaf. How do we know where that line is between optimism and perseverance vs pessimism and giving up?

Is it practical or pessimism for a parent to encourage a child to study hard to succeed in a field with high odds of success rather than chase the one in 1 million dream of movie stardom?

Is it optimism Or stupidity for a woman to give a guy another chance and recognize that no one’s perfect, including herself.

“The power of positive thinking” tells us to be our own advocate but more often than not we can’t see the forest for the trees. It would sure help to have some guidelines.

Maybe it all boils down to the power of now. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What is not popular in one era is all the rage in the next. No point getting angry. It’s never worked and never will.

But if we follow the power of now, it’s easy. Right here, right now, in this moment … If people think you suck, leave. If they think you’re great, stay.

The trick is knowing when to leave and when to stay. Simple.

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