Yes, dear reader, you have read well. The power of pessimism. I have not been wrong to write it. Although I am a strong defender of optimism, I also wanted to vindicate the importance of pessimism. In fact, one of the books that I have liked the most is “La fuerza del optimismo” by Luis Rojas Marcos, the well-known psychiatrist, a great personal brand and one of my favorite authors, and you can find articles on the subject in my blog, for example I recommend “The Three P’s of Optimism”.
But today I want to talk to you about the importance of pessimism. And this idea comes after hearing some interesting statements from Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid‘s Italian coach, this holiday. The statements referred to his player Nacho, a Real Madrid youth squad, who has the enormous challenge of supplying the departure of 2 renowned central defenders such as Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, who have left the club this summer. Commented Ancelotti “I always say that there are two types of defenses: pessimists and optimists. Nacho is a pessimistic defender, because he always thinks that something bad can happen and that is why he is always focused for 90 minutes”. They were, in my opinion, some great statements and they quickly went around the world.
Until now, optimism is almost always talked about and how important it is in many areas of life, such as sports, management, health … And almost no one claims the importance of pessimism. These statements serve to highlight the importance of pessimism. But pessimism in a good way. In the sense that Ancelotti wants to give it. In other words, a clear commitment to avoid risks, not to trust oneself, to be cautious, to be prepared for unforeseen events, to always have a plan B (or C or D …). As the American economist said John Kenneth Galbraith “we all agree that pessimism is a display of superior intelligence”.
And I want to break a spear in favor of pessimism. I think we have overused pretty phrases about optimism. Although it is very important, we cannot deny the power that pessimism has. How many problems would we avoid if we were somewhat more pessimistic? How many people have been left without work for being too optimistic? And how many entrepreneurs have been ruined by having an overly optimistic view of reality? On the other hand, if we only had a pessimistic view, everything would be much worse. The world would not have evolved so much, neither wealth nor employment would be generated … In my opinion, as I said Aristotle: “in balance is virtue”. I believe that people must balance both their optimistic vision and their pessimistic vision. The combination of both poles is the most appropriate from my humble point of view. As the missionary doctor and Nobel Peace Prize winner said Albert Schweitzer: “An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist only sees a red light … the truly wise person is color blind”.
And for this reason, I wanted to highlight the importance of pessimism, unfortunately almost always despised, and forgotten.
I finish with a quote that I love and that perfectly sums up my way of thinking “The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised”.