Optimists and Pessimists

I will freely admit to being an optimist. I believe the glass is always half full with refills on the way. 

My friend and mentor, Zig Ziglar, is fond of saying, “I’m willing to go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me.”

Being an optimist does not mean you are oblivious to the world around you. I realize there are many geopolitical and economic forces in play that make the future uncertain. The reality is that the future has always been uncertain, but this does not justify pessimism. I believe that no one is smart enough to be a pessimist.

Recently, I was reading some historical accounts written by so-called “experts” regarding the looming energy crisis. These reports were written decades in the past and predicted that the world would run out of oil sometime during the ’80s. The smartest and best-educated minds of the day looked at all of the facts at hand and came to the conclusion that the heat and light supplied by oil would not be available before the decade of the ’80s was over. 

As we look back in retrospect, we clearly realize that these “experts” were not smart enough to be pessimistic. Ironically, the reports to which I refer were written in the 1850s and dealt with the worldwide supply crisis of whale oil. 

Long before we ran out of whale oil, petroleum was discovered, and that looming crisis of the day was averted. Now we are told that fossil fuels will run out, throwing the world into a crisis. Please understand, even though I’m an optimist, I realize there is a limited supply of fossil fuel and without innovation and intervention of new technology, we will, indeed, face a crisis. But the optimist in me says we will solve this problem. 

The pessimists among us would say that petroleum—which was the solution to the whale oil crisis—created environmental and supply problems. While this is true, I am convinced there will always be solutions to our current problems. These solutions will create new problems to which we will always find new solutions. 

The facts always hold realistic reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic. The reason I choose to be an optimist is the fact that we always find what we’re looking for. If we seek solutions, they will appear. If we look for problems, we will invariably find them. 

As you go through your day today, look at the facts realistically and choose to be an optimist.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by e-mail at Jim@JimStovall.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.

One Response to Optimists and Pessimists

  1. Judy Burkemper November 7, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    I love these one page articles on inspiration….can we print these and give them to our supervisors? Or how can we get them on the mailing list?

Leave a Reply