Optimist or Pessimist? Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

Twin BrothersLeo Buscaglia was one of my all-time, favorite, motivational speakers.  Before his death, he was an accomplished author, USC professor, and dynamic lecturer whose televised programs were frequently seen on PBS.  One time, I heard him tell a story that really illustrated the personal choices we make to live with pessimism or optimism.  And, while I'm sure this story has been told by countless others, I fondly remember Leo Buscaglia's version and it goes something like this:

A mother and father had twin boys:  One was an optimist and one was a pessimist.  Concerned about their sons’ well being, the parents took their children to a psychiatrist.  In order to study the children more closely, the psychiatrist planned the following experiment:  To brighten one boy's outlook, the psychiatrist put the pessimistic child into a room filled with toys.  And, to dampen the other boy's outlook, the psychiatrist put the optimistic child into a room filled with horse manure.

After a few moments, the psychiatrist returned to check on each child.  The pessimistic child had quickly burst into tears.  He was fussing and complaining and refusing to play with the toys.  Additionally, the boy was loudly exclaiming his disappointment – and his fear of breaking the toys if he had tried to play with them.

On the other hand, the optimistic child was uncontrollably ecstatic – joyous, laughing, and furiously digging through the horse manure with both hands.  The psychiatrist, astonished by the child's behavior, asked the boy why he was so thrilled and excited.  The optimistic child euphorically replied:  “Well, I figure with all this horse manure – there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!

What's the most meaningful, motivational story or quote you've ever heard?  Do you look at your glass as half full or half empty?  Dale Carnegie once said "When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade."  As we all know, that's not always easy to do.  However, the way in which we view, react, and respond to life's situations can make all the difference in the world.  Change my perspective?  I think I can do that.

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carie shapiro

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties 08/29/2012 04:21 AM
  2. Valerie Zinger 09/01/2012 01:16 AM
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John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

I choose to see the glass half full.  Well...99.9% of the time :)

Aug 28, 2012 11:42 AM #1
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417
United Real Estate - Addison, TX
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate

Leo Buscaglia. I haven't heard that name in years! I remember watching him on PBS, too.

Aug 28, 2012 12:13 PM #2
Lisa Hicks
Hoang Realty - Augusta, ME
Serving Central and Southern Maine

Definitely half full.  Lemonade all the way.  :)

Aug 28, 2012 12:18 PM #3
Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD TMS-Realtor
Adams Cameron & Company - Ponce Inlet, FL

Althought the lemons maybe sour, they sure make a sweet lemonade!

Aug 28, 2012 12:27 PM #4
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

Chicken soup for Realtors?

Aug 28, 2012 12:36 PM #5
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great story and one I haven't heard before. It certainly sets the tone for how we ought to be. I always try to be optimistic but there are those moments...one can clearly have the wrong perspective that can ruin the best situation

Aug 28, 2012 01:14 PM #6
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

I love the twin story. I read a quote recently that said "Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Who cares! Just drink the darn thing and get on with it!" I kind of liked that. Sometimes in life we tend to over analyze and worry over the whys and hows when maybe we shouldn't and should just get busy.


Aug 28, 2012 01:23 PM #7
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

John:  Ha!  Well, 99% is way better than 0%!

Lorrie:  He was great, wasn't he?

Lisa:  "Lemonade all the way" ... I like that!

Malinda:  Yes, isn't that so true?  Well said.

Alan:  Are you putting together a book?  I'll take a chapter :)

Jeff:  Thanks!  You're so right about that ... then there are those moments, for sure!  And, when you change your perspective, those moments are easier to deal with, yes?

Gretchen:  Thanks and great quote!  Stop over analyzing, stop worrying, and keep moving ... I like it too :)


Aug 28, 2012 09:48 PM #9
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I am an optimist - almost always! You may as well see the positive things in life because there are plenty of folks around to tell you the negative stuff!

Aug 28, 2012 09:55 PM #10
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Valerie:  Thanks ... I thought the story illustrated the difference as well!  And, like you, I think I will be an optimist today too :)

Gary:  Almost always for me too!  It takes the same energy to be positive as it does to be negative.  Actually, I think it takes more energy to be negative ... hmmm.  Plus, being positive really feels so much better too, doesn't it? :)

Aug 28, 2012 10:14 PM #11
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Carie, Love this story. I see the glass as too big! A smaller one would always be full!


Aug 28, 2012 10:34 PM #12
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

I remember hearing that story about the boy looking for the pony in the room of manure when I was growing up in church.  It still is a favorite of mine!

Aug 28, 2012 10:49 PM #13
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Carie:  Now THAT'S what I call an Optimist.  Where there's smoke, there's fire, and I guess, for Texans, where there's horse manure, there's just GOT to be a pony.  Very cute.

Your post just brought this to mind.  Now... in watching the Republican Convention... with all the manure they are spreading around... I'm gonna start looking for the pony.  As I said... there's just GOT to be one... probably several... in that convention hall somewhere.

Aug 29, 2012 01:14 AM #14
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Carie, Some people are just optimistic by nature where others are pessimistic. I think they can improve their attitudes but their overall countenance may still prevail. By the way, I love your new photo.

Aug 29, 2012 03:34 AM #15
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Leo was and is one of my favorites, too, Carie.  Great story.  And, his book on Love....should be required reading for any teenager or adult.

Aug 29, 2012 04:47 AM #16
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Margaret:  Thanks.  My glass is too big too :)

Kathryn:  It is a good story, yes?

Karen Anne:  I never realized this story might be applicable to other situations in life.  So, I suppose there could be "potential ponies" all over the place :)

Debbie:  Yes, although I can be both sometimes, I'm more of an optimist by nature.  And, thanks for the compliment :)

Suzanne:  He was wonderful.  And, I agree ... his book is wonderful too!

Aug 29, 2012 12:53 PM #17
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Carie...I don't think I have heard that story but it is how i try to live my life...it isn't always easy but we can see a bright side!!  thanks so much for sharing it and brightening my Saturday morning!!!

Sep 01, 2012 01:51 AM #18
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC



So i am a bit late arriving on site here but here is my favorite way to see the glass.  Try living as an awesomist, it is more fun than optimism!


Sep 10, 2012 10:58 AM #19
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Great story. I recently discovered Bob Burg, and his messages inspire me so much - can't wait to get one of his books in my hands.

Sep 25, 2012 02:28 AM #20
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the great story Carie, and the reminder of Leo Buscaglia, we spent many hours listening to him when I was young, and I am sure he had an impact on many people.

Sep 28, 2012 06:58 AM #21
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