Being an Optimistic Realist

I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
-Thomas Edison

Being a realist means being able to focus energy on making a difference in life. It can bring real change and excitement which is the opposite of what one might think.

It seems exciting to think about lottery tickets or quick and easy wealth schemes, traveling to exotic destinations we cannot afford, luxury cars and homes outside of our price range. But, these thoughts do not lead to change. They generally lead to disappointment and energy wasted that could have been used to achieve real goals that make a real difference. In the meantime, the shortcomings in life are still there and we find ourselves frustrated and unhappy.

De Pere Storm FrontSummer storm front in De Pere, WI.

Find Joy In Reality

Look at life realistically and you will probably find things that you are unhappy with, and you will find things that are great. Focus on those things and more will come. Get excited about little things and they will become big. Then, you will find no reason to obsess about what you don’t have or what you don’t want.

The essence of inspiration is seeing joy and love in everything in life and allowing more good things to appear. It’s about allowing God to lead you to rapture and to fulfill the needs that you have.

Find Success In Reality

Make a commitment to choose to look at things differently whenever you find yourself frustrated. Find the gifts in everything, because there really is nothing in this life that does not contain a gift for our spiritual growth: death of a loved one, injury, rudeness of others, sunrises, sunsets, laughing babies, etc. can all be growing experiences.

When these things are faced head-on, the growing experiences give us something on which we can build our lives. Our feelings about reality are a gauge by which we can determine our path to success. When these feelings are suppressed or hidden by focusing on non-reality, it is difficult to find success.

Keep Dreaming

Being realistic does not mean we should stop dreaming. But, instead of dreaming about what the world will bring us, we can dream about what be want to make happen, then begin to make it happen. When our creative ideals are set to action, we will be amazed at what we achieve if we’re willing to act.

From Waiting for a Miracle to Producing a Miracle – A Personal Perspective

My Messy ToddlerTristen, my messy toddler, eating… wearing spaghetti.

I lived my teenage years and much of early adulthood in anger. I was convinced that my career, love life and finances would remain stagnant, that traffic cops were harassing me and that success was something handed to the privileged few. I was complaining about political policies and corrupt law enforcement, waiting for the world to change and clear the way for me to stroll my way to success. Though I knew this would never happen.

Gradually, I let go of this attitude and began to focus my efforts on looking at my part in reality, taking responsibility for my life and taking action to change me. Today, I have a beautiful wife who I can connect to like no one I have ever known before, a toddler who never ceases to make my face light up, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a resume that has me flooded with job prospects and a very new and small, but growing, business. It took effort and time, but the rewards were immediate and far beyond my expectations.

I find myself ecstatically wondering what the next challenge/opportunity will be that I’m going to arrive on.

Daily Action – Focus On Real Change

Think about what you want in life and what you can do to make it happen. Let go of things that are beyond your control. Don’t waste your energy today on things that are not influenced by your actions.

Figure out what the first step toward your goal is and take it today. Don’t expect all your dreams to come true overnight, but do expect them to come true.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

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