QUANTUM THINKING - Number 1 'hidden' skill behind billionaire Bill Gates' success.
“Cynicism is easy. Mimicry is easy. Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.” — Naval Ravikant
Balancing optimism and pessimism at the same time is not that easy.
Even for me.
Although my pen name Quantum Thinking is also used to denote the same thinking that has many other variations:
Fear and Greed
Optimism and Pessimism
Pessimism helps me to survive by making me aware of the risks I face and how to prepare for them.
Similarly, optimism offers me hope that things can and will improve even when there is no obvious proof, such as making a healthy relationship or investing in the long term.
Optimism and pessimism appear to be completely opposite attitudes, and many individuals prefer one over the other.
because it's easy to do so…
What successful people do
Successful individuals, on the other hand, strike a balance between pessimism and optimism.
The story of Bill Gates is one of the relevant examples of how effective this hidden ability can be.
He created Microsoft with the goal of always having enough cash on hand to keep the firm running for at least a year without any income.
In 1995, he told Charlie Rose that he kept so much cash because technology changes so fast that nothing is guaranteed, not even Microsoft’s future.
“If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”- Bill Gates
He later said:
“I was always concerned because the people who worked for me were older than me and had children, and I used to wonder, ‘What if we don’t get paid?’” Will I be able to match the payroll?”
A demonstration of combining optimism and confidence with a substantial amount of pessimism.
What Gates seemed to realize is that in order to be optimistic in the long run you need at least requires to be pessimistic enough to survive in the short term.
A Rational Optimist Mindset - Quantum Thinking
Why striving to be a ‘rational optimist’ is a key trait in this agile world.
Because humans are emotional rather than rational.
"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” — Dale Carnegie
It’s important to realize that optimism and pessimism are not black and white.
On one end, you have the pure optimists.
They think everything is awesome, will always be awesome, and see any negativity as a flaw. Part of it is their ego: they are so sure of themselves that they can’t imagine anything going wrong.
On the other end, you have the pure pessimists.
They think everything is awful, will always be awful, and see any positivity as a flaw. Part of it is their ego: they have so little faith in themselves that they can’t imagine anything going right. They are the exact opposite of the pure optimist, and just as unrealistic.
In the middle is the sweet spot, what I call the rational optimist: those who recognize that history is full of problems and disappointments and setbacks, but who remain optimistic because they know that setbacks don’t stop progress.
They may seem like they are contradicting themselves or changing their minds, but often they are just looking further ahead than other people.
“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.” ― George Bernard Shaw
So, the key in any field — from finance to careers to relationships — is being able to overcome short-term problems so you can enjoy long-term growth.
Build like an optimist and backup like a pessimist.
Dream like an optimist, and plan like a pessimist.
These may sound like conflicting skills. And they are. It’s natural to think you should be either an optimist or a pessimist.
It’s difficult to accept that both concepts have their time and place to use and that they can and should coexist.
However, it is evident in almost every successful long-term effort.
“It’s remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” — Charlie Munger
Thanks for reading and if you really like this article, please share it with your social circle.