Friday, July 4, 2008

Another view on being negative

I am by nature a negative person.

By this, I mean the negative aspects of a situation always stand out clearer to me than the positive. The downside shouts out, while the upside whispers, or sometimes whimpers in loneliness.

Today I contemplated this fact as I drove to the range. Perhaps it was the dreary overcast day, or maybe my own personality that led me down that path.

For my entire life I have been a technical person. Machines, tools, electricity, and gadgets were as playthings to me when I was a child. I never outgrew that, and it became my career in many ways. It still is.

An important aspect of being a technician is understanding possible futures. Not just the here and now, but the then and may be. What works today may break tomorrow…. and a good tech will consider this and try to avoid it. Avoid it, engineer the risk away, or plan for it if inevitable. Understanding and planning on success is easy; Understanding failure and planning for it is professionalism, and not nearly as easy.

Things fail. People fail. Societies fail. Everything and everybody has the potential to fail. Measuring and judging this potential is what a pessimist does, rather than ignore it as many an optimist will.

Yes, I am negative by nature. I expect things to fail and I try to predict when it will happen, how it will happen, and what the result will be. I used to worry (a little) about this leaning in myself, and actually made it part of my life planning.

Today….. As I considered ‘negativism’ in regards to life as a technician, I see no more reason to worry. It’s not a fault, it’s a feature!

One point made itself clear as well….. Being negative by nature makes the positives in life stand out in stark clarity. The love of a beautiful woman… A career deeply worth doing….. And the stray glimpse of a lovely view. All these things stand taller in my view since I spend so much time looking for the failure points in life.

Today….. A moment looking out upon mans industriousness.

No comments: