One of my favorite times to write a blog post is when a theme keeps popping up in my daily life. And if it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to, well…. I feel useful and I love that.
Many of those who I know, including myself, are frustrated. Frustrated with… the reality of things, the direction the world is going, what our predecessors left us, how to continue, money, time, etc. I could go on but the point is, frustration is in the air.
I don’t have any answers beyond reality but I am sometimes asked my opinion on things from those in my life and this topic has come up several times recently. Now don’t get me wrong. I’d be nowhere without the mentorship of my father, mother, philosophers, bosses and others so I include myself in seeking advisement, but when I am asked my opinion on something, I take it seriously. And I’ve been thinking a lot about those of us who are going after employment in the difficult-to-succeed-in entertainment industry, largely because that is the world in which I inhibit, but also because it’s a subset of people who fascinate me. Once you reach a certain age, the level of difficulty to be successful in this industry sets in and it’s the ones who truly want to be doing it, that keep doing it. Frustration is plentiful here. But while I learn from this industry, I believe the best advice out there about frustration can apply to anyone:
Do not operate from a foundation of fear but rather one of optimism.
Allow me to explain how this is helpful. I study philosophy. Ayn Rand, through her expansion on the Law of Identity, which is attributed to Aristotle but possibly could date further, taught me A = A. Reality is what it is despite how I perceive it. Coming from this premise, I can appreciate that reality is not always about control but is always about choice. Things will happen beyond my control and I can choose how to deal with them. If I am fearful of the outcomes, I will start from a defeatist point of view.
A wise man once said, “Life is a struggle.” It is, no matter who you are. So if perhaps I come from a place of knowing that and accepting it, then I can start from an optimistic point of view.
Now one could say, “Hang on, fear is good. Who knows what will happen and one should be prepared, especially if life is a struggle…” I thought this too, for a while, but then realized there is a big difference between being an optimistic realist and a pessimistic realist.
Realism is seeing what is true to life.
Within that context, being optimistic is seeing what could be.
Being pessimistic is seeing what can’t be.
Considering life isn’t easy no matter how you look at it, which point of view do you want to take?