22 Mar 2015

Optimism is a way of life

I've been in the company of cynics lately. The ones at work at particularly disheartening, not just because they don’t have a single good word about anyone, but also because their outlook is gloomy and bleak. It crushes my optimism. I fervently believe in the good in people and being around THAT much toxicity bugs me to no end.

My constant search for a blend of what I love and ambitiousness spurs me into all the things that I try. I can deal with cynics usually, meet raised eyebrows with one of my own. It’s the pessimists I’m baffled by. Their negativity is not only palpable; it is a quality I’d rather not stay too close to. These are the ones that believe that “settling” is a way of life. Settling for mediocrity and compromise has been my fear ever since I learnt to say a resolute ‘no’ when my parents wanted me to do engineering. It astonishes me how many people want to settle for something less, for something ‘okay’ and for something that they don’t even care about.

The question you ask yourself is “What's more advantageous to you – a 9 to 5 job that makes you crawl into your bed every night, wishing you were doing something worthwhile, or the satisfaction that you get by doing something that you love – every single day?”

It saddens me each time I meet a pessimist. The grey comes off from them in waves. Distinct and intimidating. It makes me want to stand up and tell them that there’s a reason successful people are how they are. It is not because they kissed their boss’ ass, were ‘politically correct’ or wrapped themselves in a pretty package and sold themselves to hierarchy. It’s because they never stopped believing in themselves and their abilities. They never stopped dreaming about the next thing that they want once they had achieved something. The successful do not have a magic personality. They are good at what they do because they love doing it. Their dreams follow because they wouldn't allow it any other way.

At times like these, I go back and remember the 2005 graduation commencement speech by Steve Jobs that my professor had shown us on the last day of his class. It has everything a conventional “inspirational” speech had – life experiences, rags to riches stories, the never say die attitude. It helps me look past the cynics and negativity around me. Steve speaks of doing what you love and being good at what you do because you love it and not because it’s your “job”. Inspiring stuff, that.
We start at the same level. We get the same education – some formally, some from the surroundings and few, not at all. Yet, the thing that holds a person together is not how intelligent they are or how creative they are. It is what they do with it. Whether if what your dream is to cure cancer or if it is to come back home early to your kid to play lego with them every evening. Visit Housing.com if you need some optimistic inspiration in the murky world of real estate. 

If someone were to ask me at my bleakest moment, what my outlook looks like, I manage a smile and say “It’s all going to work out.” I’m sunshine and rainbows and colors and everything in between and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

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