Monday, February 09, 2009

Pessimist & Optimist

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
" - Sir Winston Churchill

Honestly, I admire pragmatists more than pessimists, optimists and realists.

As Churchill says above 'pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.' We do not want to be pessimists.' Optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty' - I am not sure if I buy that fully. What's the point in looking for an opportunity in every difficulty? Even if an opportunity exists in every difficulty, is it worth our time and resources? As they say 'It does not make sense to fight every fire. We probably are better off fighting only those fires that are on our way.' So, I am ok not to become a pessimist but do not want to become a pollyannaish optimist looking for opportunity in every difficulty. More on that later.

Churchill does not speak about two other types of people. They are realists and pragmatists. Realist see it for what it is. Sees opportunity as opportunity and difficulty as difficulty. Sometimes, it is a great quality. That is seeing it for what it is. It helps to take stock of situation. Being a realist is also the necessity for becoming pragmatist.

Pragmatist is my favorite type of person. A person who has right balance of optimist and realist. But, this right balance alone is not enough. Pragmatist takes it one step further. He acts. Acts with capital A. He seizes the opportunity and does away with difficulty. Every difficulty does not require a solution that you have to personally deal with. Many times if you have right resources most of the difficulties can be expensed away. 'If you can buy yourself out of a problem, it is not a problem but just an expense.' Many times dealing problems as expenses is the right thing to do. This is because by trying to deal with every problem in your own signature way requires way too much effort. What is the opportunity cost? What all you could have accomplished while trying to deal with a problem which could have been merely expensed away?


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