The older I get, the more of a realist I become. I have lived long enough to see that having an optimistic, positive attitude is absolutely the best way to go through life. However, at the same time, I have to be realistic about the situations that often arise in everyday life.
We do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world that is filled with mistakes, unexpected interruptions, heartache, death, and other disappointing situations. That is being realistic.
While I choose not to focus on the negative aspects of life, neither do I ignore them. I have come to see that they are just a natural part of life. To close my eyes to that fact would be unwise. Yet, I want to be the most positive, optimistic person I can be. So, where is the reality in this dilemma? I have found that it lies in the title of this week’s Tip: Hope for the best; plan for the worst.
When I use the word “hope”, I am not talking about crossing my fingers and wishing for things to somehow work out miraculously. The word “hope”, to me, means “looking forward to.” When I say, “I hope to see you next week”, what I mean is that I am looking forward to seeing you. It does not necessarily carry with it the suggestion that maybe I will and maybe I will not. I realize it can be used in that way but when I say, “Hope for the best,” I mean plan for the best; look forward to the best; have an expectation that things are going to work out in a good, positive manner. Is that not what we expect when we get married, start a business, or have children? We should have an “earnest expectation” and a “looking forward to” the fact that everything is going to work out just fine.
However, when I say, “Plan for the worst,” I do not mean that we plan for it with a negative, bitter, angry spirit either. It is just that we need to be wise.
I once heard that jet fighter-pilots spend about 10% of their training time learning how to fly their aircraft correctly and about 90% learning how to handle difficult, dangerous situations. In fact, I read one article written by a military pilot who said that he always watched the instrument panel so he would know that the missiles he carried were fastened securely to the plane until he was ready to release them. He was also careful to observe the mechanism that could eject him from the airplane. In other words, he always had his eyes on things that could go wrong.
The people who climb Mt. Everest say that the entire trip is planned around danger and what could go wrong. Months are spent in planning, waiting for just the right weather for their climb but, there is always the possibility that a storm could arise at any moment.
You see, great pilots, as well as great mountain climbers, hope for the best but plan for the worst!
I am doing everything in my power to daily have a good, positive, optimistic, uplifting, edifying, encouraging, happy, joyful attitude about my life, business and relationships. However, I also carry insurance policies, save money for unexpected expenses, eat right, exercise, and drive carefully. (Well, I am working at the driving carefully part. In my “other life”, I must have been a race car driver!)
I want to have the best life possible, don’t you? I have experienced the fact that this kind of wisdom and counsel will work best for all of us! I know it is working for me. I know it will work for you, too!
Tip: Hope for the best; plan for the worst.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm