Optimist, pessamist or poptimist?

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.” Author Unknown

Good morning! I was talking with a friend yesterday (you know who you are) and she had one of those wonderful “a-ha” moments. She explained that she considered herself an optimist and wanted to be an optimist. Yet as we spoke, I noticed that she continually snuck in “little jabs” at herself no matter what area of her life we were discussing. This had become so habitual that she didn’t realize how frequently she was doing it. She worried that her life was careening out of control and she couldn’t figure out how to stop it. Yet if she wanted the best, and was willing to aim for the best, and considered herself an optimist at heart — how could everything seem so “lost?”

There are definite optimists in life. There are also definite pessimists. There is another group of people, a large group, that I will nickname “poptimists.” “Poptimists” are optimists at heart – yet their level of disbelief forces them to “pop” their hope as soon as they create it. They are so convinced nothing will work, because very few things have, that each ray of hope also carries a shadow of doubt. Yet they aren’t pessimists–because they haven’t given up. They still know how to hope.

If we use today’s quote to visualize a “poptimist,” a poptimist would be wearing a parachute while in the airplane. She doesn’t want to get off the plane really, because she knows there has to be something better. Yet, she isn’t willing to let go of her safety net and disbelief long enough to truly enjoy the scenery that is visible from the plane. Her vision is constantly hampered by her parachute.

The biggest challenge for the poptimist is letting go. A potimist must learn to trust themselves and trust in life. You can’t truly experience the journey if you are constantly waiting for the “other shoe to drop.” This would be like trying to enjoy a Sunday drive with the parking break on. We can’t move forward, when we doubt the steps ahead of us.

[ahed] Your Turn:
Are you an optimist, pessimist or poptimist? If you relate to the idea of “poptimism” make an effort to put down your parachute so you can fully enjoy life. Suspend your disbelief for an hour, talk gGood to yourself. Then challenge yourself to do it for two hours, then three, then a day, until you embrace a shadowless heart of hope.

Today’s Affirmation:
I let go of doubt and disbelief, knowing that I deserve the best and can create the best.


Optimist, pessamist or poptimist? — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you! If anyone had asked me, I would have described myself as an optimist…until I read your description of a poptimist…As of today, I willingly take on the challenge to put down my parachute…thanks…Also, this is the prettiest website I’ve ever visited. As my granddaughter would say, “You rock!”

  2. A Poptimist:

    As I having been going through the MLM program and was doing my exercise on draining relationships, I spent a lot of time on one particular friend, Ann. I’m wondering if she would fall in the category of a Poptimist. I met her 5-6 years ago, as my son’s soccer coach’s wife. Later, she switched her two youngest kids to our school (of choice). I came to find her a very needy person, as she lives with all men! Her husband is the bread winner (and lots of overtime), and her only job is driving her children to clubs, camps and special activities. We started helping each other out , with verbal and physical support, in the CLEANING OUT OUR CLUTTER. Being that I’m a widow 12d & 15s) and don’t work, she seemed to think I was available for anything. It was benefical for her to drop in unannounced to pick up my son for an overnight; thinking it gave me free time, and entertained one of her children. As this relationship seemed to steamroller into a one sided plane, mostly benefitting her, I curbed our times together to things beneficial to both of us. Ann is a very needy individual who needs constraint encouragement, and being the always helping/caring individual that I am, thought phone calls would be okay. Her oldest son is an A+ student and starting off to college at 17. As I look back at the past two years I see that ALL the children were busy, if it was convenient for her oldest. Money was spent according to oldest’s needs, and the left overs going to the rest of her children. Problem, she doesn’t take care of herself. Now, with her oldest leaving the nest, she has a huge void. A POPTIMIST, woe is me…., but did I tell you what Ian did; about his new job, girlfriend, latest certificate or just I’m worried about Ian leaving home. She is kind of the opposite of a Poptimist, because her interjected comments aren’t negative but positive comments about HER SON, What I’ve given Ian, or her newest….since everything is pinpointed on Ian’s college and future, the other kids will now get way less. Due to her very low amount of self-esteem, I hate to point out this situation to her, because all her other friends are far more needy than she. I am at the five year mark as a widow, and at the point where all friends and family fall by the wayside, BUT I am recreating my life. She is better than nothing some times, and I feel cheap using her that way. What do you think?

  3. I used to be a true optimist but went astray. I am working on my return–life is much rosier as an optimist. I like your annalogy about the parachute–you hit the nail on the head with me. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. I’m keeping this page as a reminder. Whew! Did it ever open my eyes!

    I always considered myself an Optimist with a dose of Realist thrown in for good measure, but what I see by your idea of “Poptimist” is closer to the truth. My idea that being “realistic” is just adding common sense may be right on the surface, but what is really happening I think, is that it allows doubt to creep in and disable my efforts.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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