Realistic Optimism and Row80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyAs mentioned earlier this week, I didn’t get a lot of time to write over the weekend. Well, actually, since Thursday. So I’ve slipped a bit in my quest to put words to page on a daily basis. However, my weekend didn’t go as planned and that leaves me with time today so I’ll be trying to rectify that and get back into the swing of it to hit my ROW80 goals.

That’s me, being Optimistic, which just happens to by #3 in my continuing on in my exploration of the 25 Virtues Writers Should Possess.

The only way you’re going to stay on target is if you believe this thing you want to do can actually happen.   ~Chuck Wendig

That philosophy holds true for many facets of life. If you go into something thinking it can’t happen, it sure in heck won’t — or the likelihood will be greatly diminished. It’s called setting yourself up for failure. We have to believe. We have to hold in our heads the image of what we want the expected outcome to be. It’s the power of positive thinking.

Now, I don’t know that I’m an optimist by nature. I tend to lean toward being a realist far too often, perhaps because I’m afraid to be optimistic due to the potential for disappointment. And who wants to that, right? Which leads us right into #4: Realism, a healthy dose of which should be in every optimist’s repertoire.

Without a bit of realism, optimism can get out of hand. Can I jump off a building with my homemade wings, and a feather clutched between my teeth, and fly like a bird?

“Why not?” says the optimist. “You’ve studied birds and constructed a fine pair of wings. Dumbo did it with nothing but his ears. Go for it!”

“Hold on,” says the realist. “Let’s take another look at a little thing called The Law of Gravity, and discuss this further.”

The realist keeps us grounded (bad pun unintended) and gives us the much needed reality check to keep things in perspective.

They are opposite sides of the same coin. One without the other will either have us crashing and burning, or never attempting anything. Try to find the balance. Be optimistic about what you want to achieve, but remind yourself of what it will take to get there.




  1. Great advice Kathi. I think I tend to be too afraid to jump and hold back too often. It’s good to let yourself go a bit sometimes.

    • Sometimes, you just have to try it and see. What’s the worse thing that can happen? You’ll fail? Failure signals learning and change. Nothing wrong with those. 🙂

  2. Hey, I have a post scheduled for Tuesday regarding dreams, goals, optimism and realism. Might need to revise a bit, though. I think it’s a bit depressing. 🙂

    Balance is always a good thing, right?

  3. Optimism with a sprinkling of realism is a great combination for writers and indeed life in general. Hope you’ve managed to crack on with the writing today and reached your ROW80 goals.

  4. I’m too careful, or at least I used to be when younger, now, I’m much more flexible and optimistic.
    Great post.

  5. You have a good mix here, Kathi. If you have too much of either one, things can get messy. Good to hear you’re optimistic, but…. go do some writing. 😉

  6. I read a blog post from an agent who talked about realistic optimism. I thought it was the perfect phrase to describe what you’re talking about.

  7. “Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! What do we do? We swim, swim. Oh! I love to swiiiim!” -Finding Nemo

    You can do it! (Hope things settle down a bit.)

    • Settling down for at least a couple weeks. It’s theoretically summer — my busy time. I’m not sure when I have an unbusy time but there must be a day out of the year. 😉

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