When Push Comes to Shove

By Jim Selman | Bio

Have you ever wondered where the line is between being idealistic versus realistic? I don’t think there is an objective answer. It is one of those questions that each of us must answer for ourselves. The ‘idealistic’ versus ‘realistic’ divide is not the same as ‘optimistic’ or ‘pessimistic’. Optimism and pessimism have to do with how we relate to the future and which crystal ball we’re looking into at the time. Whether the glass is half full or half empty can make for interesting conversation at Starbucks, but at the end of the day doesn’t make any difference. Reality doesn’t care what we think.

Being idealistic or realistic has less to do with how we see the future than it does with who we are. It is a choice of how we choose to relate to the world. I am an idealist. That is, I prefer to see the best in people and am committed to winning games worth playing. I see little benefit in arguing against possibility (which is what I generally hear when told I am not being “realistic”). Possibilities are never realistic. If they were, they would be examples. Further, realists

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