There’s no diff…

There’s no difference between a pessimist who says “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,” and an optimist who says “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway,” Either way, nothing happens. – Yvon Chouinard founder of Patagonia

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and I came across this quote in my latest read: The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.

I must say it really gave me a new perspective on life. Many of us are trapped in what is known as ‘optimistic denial’ where we give in to the negativity in our surrounding while hanging on to hopelessness disguised as optimism. Many persons claim to be positive and hopeful for the future but very few are actually hopeful for the present and even fewer still are actually brave enough to take action to change the present. Many of us have been brainwashed into living for the future and as a result we miss out on what the here-and-now has to offer. We save up for retirement and miss out on all the joys that life has to offer us while we’re still alive and kicking. Now, I’m not saying don’t save and I’m most certainly not saying don’t have hope for the future. What I am saying however is, don’t be so caught up in the future that life passes you by and when you finally arrive at ‘the hoped-for future’ clad in all your retired glory, the only thing you can do with all the money you piled up is head to the hospital or your nearest pharmacy to fill prescriptions.

Learn to enjoy life while you can. Learn to chase dreams and be willing to fail and learn from these failures. Don’t give up on a dream because of the potential worst case scenario unfolding because, as the odds would have it, the worst may not happen. But, if you never try you would never know, right? Makes sense?

Learn to take risks. Do things you can never dream of doing when you get to retirement and you may come to realize that you can actually get to that retirement sooner than you had expected, simply because you took a chance and chased a dream or pursued a passion.

Simply put, don’t end up in the Time-Money-Energy Conundrum:

As Yvon puts it, don’t sit back and do nothing! There’s always something that can be done to help change your current environment to help it work FOR you rather than the other way around.

So, let’s say for example, you don’t like your current job. The solutions are simple really, you can apply for another job or you can seek out opportunities within your current company that may prove to be more fulfilling or even better yet, you can START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! So, you’re not qualified for those more fulfilling roles? Go out and acquire those qualifications! Ask your superiors in the area you’re interested in for mentorship or seek out opportunities for volunteering within your area of interest. Do something! And if you’re not going to do anything to change or modify your environment, don’t sit and complain!

There are a few common examples that come to mind that I’ve seen in many offices:

  • No one likes the cafeteria food but yet there’s always a long line at lunch. Strange? Not really.
  • No one likes Mondays because of work but they all get up and go anyway. Right?

The point is, people prefer to sit comfortably in an uncomfortable situation simply because it’s familiar and SAFE and while the pessimists among us will be straightforward and say upfront that they doubt there’s better, there are the so-called optimists among us who justify their current existence with clichés  and empty words of hopefulness masking doubts and fears.

Be willing to take action to solicit the change you desire. Here are a few quotes to give you a jump-start:

Change  does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous  struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man  can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin  Luther King, Jr.

Change  will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the  ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Barack  Obama

For  the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:  ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do  today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know  I need to change something.
Steve Jobs