I wonder sometimes to which camp of ‘ism’ I belong.

Someone once remarked that I am an incorrigible optimist.

Someone told that I am extremely pessimistic and some of my writings tend to indicate depression!

Someone told me that I am a very safe player and is very realistic in my approach.

If I listen to the wisdom of crowds, then only one thing is sure.

I will be perpetually confused.

However, when I think about it, any of this ‘ism’ is a state that we put ourselves into considering the situations we are in.  This gets etched into our personality types over a period of time and over a period of time we get stereotyped into one of this by the environment around us.

I think we should accept the feedback that the environment gives us and keep this states at bay. We have a choice to take these states into our personality depending on the situation we are in and switch to the appropriate situation.

As for myself, to the outside world generally I am seen as an optimist (at-least that is what I think) and generally can make a day brighter for someone (I have a joke here, which I have reserved at the end of this article1). I am generally motivated by reading optimistic stuff, the can do will do type of personalities and I have seen the energy levels to be high when optimism is in the air.

However, I have also noticed that any significant endeavour of mine, I begin with extreme pessimism. There are two voices in my head. One says ‘Forget it. You will never get there’ and the other one says ‘Let us see’. Then I take the arduous task of the latter voice shutting down the former.  Be it my 50 KM run, attempting to speak in public or any other nightmarish stuff that I take up, I have seen that I begin with a negation. If you have been in Bangalore too long you will know the word ‘Agodhilla Sir’ (It will not happen Sir).  I think starting with pessimism has helped me double my efforts towards what I want to achieve as I see the fight is with me to shut the voice which says ‘you will never get there’. Also pessimism makes me be better at reflection, when things go wrong, rather than just calling it just another day.

I feel realism is just a state which allows to makes peace with the outcomes we see. I feel I do not start anything with realism in mind. Either I am overtly optimistic or overtly pessimistic. There is no mid path.

I was joking. I like the indulgence in the extremes and meekly accept the middle path!

So to summarize, I think these are really states that we wilfully call upon to effect a certain outcome and I hope we do not get into the ‘stereotype’ casted onto us by the environment nor cast anyone that we know of into that. Next time you see someone being optimistic, pessimistic or realistic , just remember they are using a tactic to get their desired outcome. They are a means to an end not an end itself.

What do you think ?

So, are you an optimist or pessimist of do you agree these are states that you put yourself into depending on the situation ?

Or I have managed to continuously confuse you ? (My success rate in this particular aspect is high)

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)


1PS : I  was trying my usual uplifting talk with one of my friends when he was down. I was telling him a quote ‘What the human mind can conceive and believe it can achieve!’. Despite being down, he quipped back at me ‘I want to marry Juhi Chawla – Can I ?’. I did what I do when I am into tough situations. Escape maadi. (Escaped from that place!)