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In life- are you positive or negative?
Old 03-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #1
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In life- are you positive or negative?

I was wondering this about people on this board (as opposed to some of the other boards I am a member of).

1. In general (I realize we all have our up/down days), are you a generally positive person, or a generally negative person?

2. Based on that how does that impact your thoughts about retirement and the future?

The reason I ask is that it seems negatively oriented people in general seem to be fairly pessimistic about not only their future, but the future of SS, the stock market, etc. And in my experience if you tend to be positive you tend to control what you can, and let the remainder take you where it will take you. I have some negative friends who I swear, could win the lottery and still find the negative in it! It is almost like they can't be happy. Whereas my positive friends even in their darkest days find something positive to focus on.

As for myself:
1. I am a very positive person. I wake up pretty happy and in general go about the day enjoying it. Unlike many here, I like my job and enjoy work, although I am looking forward to my retirement here in a couple of years. But I do in general feel very lucky and fortunate in my life. I have a beautiful wife and daughter, a nice home, etc.

2. I honestly feel my life is on track and so is my retirement. I max out what I can for my age group, I don't follow the market daily (I do check in on it but it doesn't control my life). I don't believe anyone can time the market, so I don't try, I feel I am in the market for the long term and approach it that way. I don't count on SS being there for my retirement, but I think it will be there (or some slight variation or percentage) so it will be a nice bonus for me. Regardless of how the market does, in general I feel fortunate compared to most people in my age/peer group and feel I am doing all that I can do, or all I am comfortable doing. So I do what I can, and let the chips fall where they are going to fall. Like my moniker states Hakuna Matata - no worries!

The reason I am curious is that I hear/read so much gloom/doom that it isn't shocking that people are fearful. But the reality is so much of that is out of ones control that in general I don't dwell on it. Perhaps naive but sane nonetheless! But if you are a generally negative person, how do you plan for your future? Hoard gold in the basement? Stockpile weapons? Or just lay awake all night worrying about things? Reminds me of that dog in this commercial

Even in my darkest days, about 2 years ago when the market was way down, I had no work/clients for my architectural practice, and a broken hip, I still woke up each day with a 'let's get her done' attitude. So I was just curious as to where 'you' felt you were on the spectrum and how that impacts your life and your approach to life.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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I'm like you...so much so that my mother once told me that she was tired of my "Pollyana BS". I still enjoy my status as a Pollyana to this day.
My DH is a bit more of a pessimist that you described. He worries, absorbs the bad news, thinks that the gov't is out to get him (not really, but gets worked up). I won't say I'm immune to it, but I really do think that there is always something to be grateful for in our lives, even when times are tough.
That perseverance and durability has served me well thus far, in life and in work.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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As my avatar "Grumpy" would indicate I am primarily a negative person. I am a pessimist. This leads me to plan ahead, anticipate the kinds of things that can go wrong, and have alternatives in mind. This personality makes me skeptical of investments that are "too good to be true". I trust my own judgement and so I have always done my own investing, primarily in a contrarian approach.

I planned to retire early from the time I began working for Uncle Sam. We lived below our means so that, no matter what happened to our investments, we could maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.

So far things have turned our more favorably that I had expected.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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I've changed with time. From being a total optimist/ dreamer, pessimist, realist.

I've seen that in my investing life. Early on, Optimist/dreamer : 1) believing others (uh..financial planners) have your best intentions at heart, that one can consistently beat the market if one just finds the right system, then, 2) pessemist (it's nothing but a dog eat dog world out there, greed is everywhere), now 3) realist (I'll just follow the index and be happy with doing that).


But overall, no matter what I'd like to say:

"I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart." Anne Frank

So, I guess, like Anne, I'm an optimist at heart.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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I am more of pessimist and I am very risk averse. I tend to be a worrier and always look on the dark side of things. If something bad can happen, I'm sure it will. (DH is just the opposite...)

The one area where I am not that way is money. I tend to assume there that things will work out. We decided to cut our lifestyle and income needs way down in order to retire early.

I did take some changes in making that decision. For example, SS is an important part of our planning. I'm not entirely foolish. I've modeled what happens if it is vastly smaller than I expect but I also just assume we can cut our lifestyle even more if we need to. I just think it will work out.

Part of that may be that DH and I didn't come from wealthy backgrounds. My parents retired modestly and it all worked out and they didn't spend a lot in retirement. My budget is higher but I realize we could cut a lot and still be fine.

My negative nature does cause conflict with DH sometimes. He calls me paranoid very risk averse. He also things that I obsess worry too much about things I can't do anything about. He, on the other hand, doesn't worry for one minute about those things and that drives me nuts. In our more rational moments, we recognize that we are a good balance for one another.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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I am positive about life as well. To me learning to be proactive about making life's decisions helps my attitude. Many people I know are afraid to take a chance in life. Having a job you like is critical. Often time people are afraid to change jobs and they stay miserable. I think the worst thing you can do is "stay stuck", that is not making a decision. Instead allow some external force make decisions for you. I'd much rather fail because I made a bad decision than have my employer or wife give me the bad news.

It is important to make situations where you can "get lucky" as well. Doing your own research and choosing your own investments creates an opportunity that good things can happen. If you stay stuck in a rut and never take a chance, then your attitude in life is likely to be pretty stale. Always having a scape goat to blame for bad things that happen in life never allows you to feel the thrill of success.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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Im primarily positive. Dont love my job, but at least I have one. Plowing money as fast as I can into the stock market, into dividend stocks, because I know it will give me retirement do-re-mi. Love my life at home, my puppies, my garden, my horses. I know what makes me happy, and very little of it involves money, so I believe Ill be just fine. Nothing makes me happier than just staying home and playing. Its just another day in paradise here.

Its all good.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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What 'carivalday' said except for the horses.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:54 PM   #10
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1. Superpositive. Yet a superworrier--

2. But not stupid--plan for the worst, hope for the best.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:57 PM   #11
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Even my blood is positive...
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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I think we're genetically predisposed to negativity. It would be illogical for an animal to evolve wasting time and energy thinking about things that are going well. News reflects the same condition. Who wants to hear about what is going well? In addition there are just so many more negatives to think about. For example, either your car is running well or, the brakes are worn, there's that noise, the oil needs change, the tires are balding, etc. Society is also constantly working on us with messages like you're too fat, you don't have enough money, you need a new car, etc. My ego's at work too, telling me I'm more important than they are, I want respect, I want to be loved...

I feel I'm a realist. I can appreciate a beautiful morning waking up backpacking in the mountains...simultaneously driving defensively, looking for the next Google, knowing death is just around the corner, the gov't is drowning in debt, there are too many people on the planet...
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
I think we're genetically predisposed to negativity. It would be illogical for an animal to evolve wasting time and energy thinking about things that are going well. News reflects the same condition. Who wants to hear about what is going well? In addition there are just so many more negatives to think about. For example, either your car is running well or, the brakes are worn, there's that noise, the oil needs change, the tires are balding, etc. Society is also constantly working on us with messages like you're too fat, you don't have enough money, you need a new car, etc. My ego's at work too, telling me I'm more important than they are, I want respect, I want to be loved...

I feel I'm a realist. I can appreciate a beautiful morning waking up backpacking in the mountains...simultaneously driving defensively, looking for the next Google, knowing death is just around the corner, the gov't is drowning in debt, there are too many people on the planet...
Maybe you should ask the mods to change your forum name to "Mr. Sunshine".
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
1. Superpositive. Yet a superworrier--

2. But not stupid--plan for the worst, hope for the best.
Like Best wife ever I am Positive but a super worrier and I always plan for the worst & hope for the best .
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:18 PM   #15
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I'm positive that I'm negative ...

I have gone through too much sh** in my life to feel differently. That's just the way it is...
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #16
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A few people here just might have guessed... I tend to be positive and happy, a glass-half-full type of person these days.

Personally I have never had as much to be happy about, as I have during the past year. My life is going exactly the way I want it to go and not by accident or serendipity at all. Like some others here, I have overcome my share of obstacles and moved on to the life I always dreamed of and planned for. Because of this a market crash, rainy weather, or whatever, isn't going to ruin my day. Even if I cannot control these things, I am "at the helm" in my life and can and will find my own happiness no matter what events may occur.

Life is valuable and to be cherished, and we are alive. Because of that, we have all "won the lottery" in a sense. People say "smell the roses". Well, you pessimists, how long since you have actually, literally done that? Next time you have a chance, give it a try, and think of how incredibly fortunate we are each day. Each moment is an eternity, and conversely all of eternity is in every moment of life. We are in the universe, and the universe is in us.

OK, time for dinner and after that, a pleasant Saturday night with a great big moon up there.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #17
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I think that having positive or negative outlook in life, there's a big correspondence to whether we find meaning in life. One can have all the hard luck, yet find meaning in life and be a positive person. The opposite is true too. One can have all the breaks, yet find no meaning and have a perspective of despair.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:36 PM   #18
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Hummm - maybe neither or perhaps both.

INTJ lefthanded.

When questions like this come up - I tend to think think of 'Pinky And The Brain.'

'What are we going to do today?'

Same as always - try and take over the world.

Or something along those lines.

heh heh heh - back in the 30 yrs. I lived in New Orleans - never let life interfer with a party. .
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #19
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I was a happy-go-lucky young child, and, despite having a very rough life from 5-19 years old, still am pretty positive all the time. I guess I was just born this way (so like my biological father).
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:25 PM   #20
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Practically giddy with positive happiness.
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