The Profits of Pessimism


Do optimists irritate the living daylights out of you?

Aren’t you tired of people telling you to be positive?

Sayings like:

  • Think positively and things will get better.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • It’s always darkest before the dawn.
  • Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
  • Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve.

I’m sure that you could add more to this list of positive sayings that you hear when when you tell it like it is.

Surely the 80% of the people that walk this earth who have a negative attitude can’t be wrong?

If you’re one of them then take heart because here’s some of the many positive benefits of being negative.

  1. You get to be the world’s foremost critic, an expert authority on what’s wrong with the world, your relatives, family, colleagues and your job.
  2. You get automatic membership to the Half Empty Glass Club.
  3. You can complain about everything because you have to deal with surly, ill bred people who can’t do anything right.
  4. You can say what you like and tell those pie in the sky crackpots, who’re trying to achieve success, that they’re wasting their time.
    Remember, the ones who succeed are just lucky.
  5. You can prophesy doom and gloom and when it happens then you can say “I told you so” with a smile.
  6. You can procrastinate with pride by being able to justify your delays because you’re waiting for the “perfect time”.
  7. You’ve a free life membership to the Two Headed Turtles Club and you can join whenever you have enough time.
  8. You can kill time without feeling guilty as “one day your ship will come in”.
  9. You don’t have to worry about missed opportunities as “all good things come to those who wait”.
  10. You can avoid having relationships or being involved with other people because they have hidden agendas and are untrustworthy.
  11. You don’t have learn or do anything new because there’s no point. You’ll never get anywhere even if you did.
  12. You can concentrate on all your weaknesses as well as the obstacles and roadblocks that surround you. They make compelling excuses for any perceived failure on your part.
  13. You can enjoy victim mentality to the fullest by surrounding yourself with other like minded complainers.
  14. You get to blame circumstances, destiny or fate for your attitude if anyone asks you why you’re negative.

I’m a reformed pessimist and have experienced most of the above benefits to some degree. It took me years to break the habit of seeing the worst case scenario in everything. This always leads to a form of paranoia or persecution complex that is detrimental to your health.

The only reason I broke out of the negative cycle I’d created was because it hadn’t done anything to help me. My outlook may have been correct but it alienated me from people and society. Society tends to class chronic negative thinkers as losers and they in turn develop depressive tendencies.

Life’s a cycle of win and lose, black and white, good and evil, negative and positive.
They all have their place and one will compliment the other.
No matter how much you try to force a positive attitude into a negative situation, it won’t work.
Why? Because you don’t believe it.

When you’re faced with any situation, you can choose to be positive or negative about it.
I’ve found it’s much easier controlling the situation with choice rather than being controlled by destructive emotions.

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
W Clement Stone.



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