Is it better to be an idealist vs a realist?
Time and time again, this age-old debate resurfaces among a group of friends, possibly during a night out for cocktails when someone shares his current career or relationship problems.
Surely at least one friend will emerge as the former and another will appear to be the latter. But sometimes a few of you will be confused as to how you have decided to look at life so far.
As a businesswoman, I have long ago come to terms with the fact that I need to be both, in order to deal with the life path I have chosen for myself.
Another path that necessitates the destruction of the either/or mentality when it comes to being an idealist vs realist is learning compassion.
To live a fruitful life of being kind to others and sharing your life with them, one must learn to be both.
I know seems like a contradiction. But first, let’s inspect what those terms generally mean to people.
Idealist vs Realist: Definitions
Here’s the definition of an Idealist in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
The second definition of idealist applies to a person with a certain perspective or way of life.
Defined as “one guided by ideals” or “one that places ideals before practical considerations,” people who live by idealism probably aim to see things in a perfect light.
Often also dubbed as dreamers, visionaries and positive thinkers, idealists value noble principles and set high goals for themselves.
This often means that they tend towards optimism.
However, there’s also a misconception that idealists are naive, innocent, and wishful thinkers.
That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
They only hope for a better future and live life according to that hope, which means that the big picture is very important to them.
However, by focusing on the big picture, they sometimes get ahead of themselves and forget to consider other important factors in a given situation.
Now let’s contrast these traits with how a realistic person is described.
Here’s the definition of a Realist by Merriam-Webster:
While idealists focus on “what could be,” realists tend to look at “what actually is.”
They like to adopt a practical or pragmatic view of circumstances, which leads them to make safe and rational choices.
Sometimes, they tend towards cynicism or pessimism, but again, that’s not necessarily the case.
They just like to process particular aspects of a certain situation and carefully scrutinize the truth.
Instead of looking at the big picture of a better future, realists tend to break it down into components and set smaller, more achievable goals.
Sometimes, this tendency hinders them from taking risks and makes them settle with what they’re immediately given.
By focusing on the present, they may sometimes miss out on big possibilities.
In Creating A Kinder World, Which Mindset Is Better?
Now you may notice that both mindsets actually seem to need each other.
The debate for whether you’re an idealist or realist seems futile when you see the holes in either perspective.
For instance, an idealist may have high hopes towards a huge goal, but he is not equipped with enough focus to actually lay out steps on how to achieve that.
Meanwhile, a realist may have the analytic skills, but he doesn’t have any purpose so those skills just end up as unused potential.
When we stop thinking of whether we’re an idealist or realist and instead shift the conversation to how we should be the best of both, we start seeing that there’s so much more we can do.
An idealist perhaps wants to change the world and make a brighter future for everyone, a vision that is very helpful in our times, but nevertheless just a vision.
A realist can introduce practical ways on how to make that vision happen and sustain it, turning an idealistic hope into purposeful action.
BeepBeep Nation: Kindness Pays
The BeepBeep Nation app encourages the idealist and the realist in everyone by enabling its users to regularly do kind acts and eventually invest deeper in a broader culture of kindness.
It provides a platform to connect people who need help and others who can provide that help, fostering new and healthy relationships or networks.
As such, not only does it promote an attitude and culture of helping each other out, it also makes way for a whole new level of face-to-face human interaction.
Aiming to build trust among individuals, BeepBeep Nation convinces the idealist in you that a brighter future or a better world is possible, and it urges the realist in you to start acting on that picture.
Now you no longer have to choose between being an idealist or realist; BeepBeep Nation offers some truly exciting ways to develop a healthy mindset that embraces both.
The BeepBeep Nation app is in its final stages of development. To be one of our supporters and be a part of our vision to make the world a better, kinder place, simply click here and let us know.