In the past couple of issues, I have attempted to convey what I believe to be truths about how to achieve all around success. I have also tried to define what success looks like. The latter task is an extremely difficult one to accomplish because success means different things to different people.
Allow me to oversimplify these differences in the definitions of success by proposing to you that there are two points of view; the optimistic and the pessimistic. Within these two categories, there are of course, subcategories but since I sought your permission to oversimplify this discussion, I will only focus on the optimists and the pessimists.
The optimistic people tend to be the ones that harbor lofty dreams in the minds. Regardless of what they are going through, they believe that they will achieve success. Does this view on life sound familiar to you? I believe it should because it is almost identical to the point of view of the Christian.
Christians are optimists. We believe that our God is able and willing to take us to the place of our success. However, where an optimist would lay claim that it’s always going to be well, a Christian would say (and know that) it is well no matter what. The difference is that one believes that problems might and probably would come but in spite of them, everything will be alright while the other believes that nothing would and should ever go wrong. Get it?
The Christian’s stance can be accurately described by the very familiar concept of faith while the optimist’s outlook on life can only be characterized as delusion. More on that later.The pessimist has beliefs too and they like to shroud their position with a veil that they call practicality. They look at everything that’s around them, they consider their perception of what is possible and they formulate an idea on what they think is realistic, plausible, probable and a lot of other big words that I don’t even know what they mean. I have known a few pessimists. They tend to be very cerebral...I mean, they think too much. I guess I have learned a few of their words.
Here is a key point that I as a young man am learning and striving to abide by – You will meet all sorts of people and they will all have their opinions about you, your dreams and your aspirations. I’ll share a story with you; I told an older friend about my plans and what I intended to do in the near future. He listened intently and waited for me to finish and then he said “Ayo,’ it’s only because you are still young.” He is not an evil person. He is just a pessimist who genuinely believed that I couldn’t do it. 6 years later, I am already living some of those dreams with good reason to believe that I will accomplish the items on the list I shared with this older friend.
Here is the moral of the story. Pray hard, work hard, have faith and be firm in your belief that you will get where God wants you to be. Share your dream with caution but if you inadvertently share it with a pessimist clothed in optimism (i.e. a closet pessimist), don’t take their word for it. You can and will succeed with faith, hard-work and a good source of information. Whose report will you believe?
Written by Ayo Sopitan