Pessimism Breeds Realism... Or Does it Just Breed Pessimism?

Over the years, many people have told me that I have something of a negative outlook, and that I need to think more "positively."  My attempts at explaining this personality trait away as being "developed by years of being a San Diego sports fan" mostly fall on deaf ears.  But those of you who have spent as much time as I have as a San Diego sports fan know that it is marked by rampant futility, horrible luck, incredible lack of talent, and a general inability to win.

 

And then there are those rare moments of hope, of skill and ability, of teasing us with a few well-placed victories.  They cause optimism and elation, frenzy and excitement.  And yet… only disappointment and heartache follows – sometimes even created by a freakish set of circumstances. 

 

So rather than set myself up for a cruel and brutal fall, I have simply learned to expect the worst.  Expect the worst, and it becomes easier to move on from failure.  Expect the worst, and if you get anything better, you’re happy. 

And so… here we go again.  Another year, another great Charger team.  More hope, more promise, more "teasing."  So now is the time to expect the worst. 

 

But something struck me as I started to climb my way up Pessimist Mountain.  Like the Grinch who looked down on the Whos in Whoville only to realize that maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, I suddenly realized that my pessimism hadn’t really netted me anything.  Sure, I temporarily replaced "disappointment" with "expectation."  My tears of anger were replaced with a smirky "I told you so."  But it never took long for that disappointment to set in anyway.  And sometimes even tears followed.

 

And it’s not like expecting bad outcomes actually changes the tide.  And while it’s probably true that expecting positive outcomes doesn’t make them come either, suddenly the question exists… what if they do?  What if there’s something to be said for "positive energy?"  Cuz I’m here to tell you that pessimism doesn’t get your team very far! 

 

So this year, I’m trying something different.  Optimism!  This is the year that I embrace "chance," "hope," and even "likelihood."  This is the year that I say it’s "our year!"  This is the year I stand and say, "I’m a homer!"

 

And if you don't accept it in its raw, unadulterated form, how about some filtered optimism?  Sure, this Charger team has problem areas and weaknesses.  But they’ve been dealing with the same flaws for most of the season – certainly for the last 11 games – and no one’s figured out a way to exploit them enough to beat them.  In this league, that’s pretty damn impressive!  No team has the ability to overcome problem areas and weaknesses as much as the Chargers!

 

While I wouldn’t say I’m turning over a new leaf (that sounds so… long term), I would say I’m trying a "new approach."  I’m going to buck my personal trend of pessimism and low expectation.  I say to one and all -- and mostly to myself -- EMBRACE POSITIVITY!  Suckle optimism!  Inflict random acts positive energy!  The Chargers WILL win!  They’re too good not to.

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