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 Friday, 13 July 2007
Friday, 13 July 2007 10:47:23 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

I took this optimism quiz from BeliefNet. The end result is divided into four categories: negative, balanced but negative, balanced but positive and glowy.

I’m balanced but positive:

Sunshine with patchy fog: Everything's coming up roses--most of the time. Your outlook is optimistic, but you tend to think more positively in the short term rather than in the long run. You see the good side of the present moment but don't necessarily incorporate that into your overall attitude.

I’d say this is about right. I do look on the bright side as I go through life, but I always plan for things to go horribly wrong in the future. In fact, this has been my motto for most of my adult life:

Expect the best, plan for the worst.

It turns out, in my experience at least, that if you plan for the worst, then it is usually the case that the worst isn’t all that bad.

If you plan for an economic downturn by establishing some savings, then you don’t’ suffer so much (or at all) during the downturn.

If you plan for your company to do rounds of layoffs, then you are already prepared to find another job (and even might find a better one if the layoffs don’t happen).

I find that it is much easier to have a rosy view of life, and to view the people around you in a positive light, if you have planned for life to get complex without warning.

Being all bright and glowy may be nice, but it makes you vulnerable to life’s quirks. At that point you either become a pessimist, or you “fall back on your faith” and just assume life sucks because God hates you (or loves you and is testing you?). Either way, any bright glowy-ness at that point is merely a façade…

Being pessimistic (entirely or with some balance) means you go through life looking at the darkness in everyone and everything. Ugh!

Yes, people and life have darkness. That’s the nature of the world. But people are basically decent, conventional wisdom would say (I do so love Rush!), and given a choice, most people will choose to exercise their light side over their dark side. A little planning ahead of time puts you in a position to help that light side dominate.

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