I had a boss who was super positive. To him, everything was wonderful 24/7; as if life was a never ending trip to Disneyworld.
It wasn’t of course. Our work situation was plagued by constant problems, many of which impeded our ability to do our job and serve our community effectively.
And yet, on our leader went with a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. When it came time to acknowledge and solve the problems that were holding us back- he focused on the positive work we had accomplished in spite of the difficulties.
I’m not saying the problems weren’t addressed, but there was always more emphasis placed on what we were doing well. That gave some a feeling of success and made them happier. But for others like me, it created frustration, anger, dissatisfaction, and resentment.
I do not share the rose-colored glasses of my old boss and those who exclusively accentuate the positive.
I’m a pessimist- or so I’ve been told.
As a pessimist would, I do tend to focus on the negative. I expect that things will go imperfectly even if rather well. I expect that mistakes will happen. I assume that things will go wrong and that people will disappoint each other.
This is not to say that I am ungrateful or that I don’t recognize and appreciate what’s good. I do. But I think we grow and learn best from setbacks, mistakes and problems. To expect that none are likely is to delude ourselves. When they do happen, not focusing on them robs us of a chance to exercise some of our greatest strengths; our abilities to aspire, adapt, change and improve. I believe strongly in our human ability to do these things and am eternally hopeful that we will.
My glass is half full of negativity. If this outlook makes me a pessimist- so be it. I’m cool with it.