Understanding Realism

So, what does it mean to be realistic? Honestly, it depends on who says it and to whom they are speaking to. For example, when I tell people about what I want to do for a living after college, they would tell me to “be more realistic,” implying that the job I want is not a real job and seems more like a hobby. Even back when I told others that I was going to art school, some people told me to be realistic and go to a “normal” school or would question about my school choice. The school that I am attending is just like any other university and my career choice can be a job if I set my mind to it. Like me, some of us have big dreams no matter how crazy, but there can be some people who can be brutally honest with us about them. They may not do it to be mean, but perhaps to remind us about the realities of the choices we make. Of course, we should dream big, but we should also be realistic for that dream to come true. Once we start the process of making that dream become a reality, we should be mindful of the values they require.

The point of this is to show you how you can be a true realist to someone without hurting their feelings. Some people will mistake realism for pessimism and that when someone is being realistic to another person, that other person will get the wrong idea that what they say comes out as pessimistic. That is rarely the case. Being a true realist means making honest judgment and not seeing things through a positive or negative filter. Being a realist is different from being a pessimist. Realists accept their flaws, while pessimists put themselves down. Realists have the understanding that no one is perfect, while pessimists put others down because of their failures. Realists will not quit, while pessimists tend to lose hope and give up too fast.

First off, this has nothing against pessimists or negative people. All I am trying to say is that being realistic towards someone does not mean you have to be negative. A realist can be an optimist. We can simply look on the more favorable side of life and expect the most favorable outcome. Realistic optimists are hopeful of favorable outcomes, but they can and should work hard and do as much as they can to obtain great results. Always have hope for something and expect it to come, but make sure you are doing what you can to make it happen. You cannot just sit around, not figuring out some sort of way to make it happen and expect it to come to you. You must work for it. Of course, we know that life is not easy and what we want is not going to be easy to get. But it is important to continue to have faith and hope, while being understanding. Remember to dream big and work hard.

 “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” -Walt Disney