Difference Between Careful and Cautious
There are many instances where our elders or some experienced persons tell us to be careful or cautious about a certain thing or the other. We many a times regard being careful and being cautious as the same thing. But the real fact is that these two terms are used in completely different aspects and situations.
The term cautious comes along with a sense of fear and apprehension when we go to do some work with the knowledge that something bad or the other might happen. On the other hand, the term careful maybe be used in any context as it does not involve the element of fear and may not necessarily involve a work that is dangerous or might cause hurt. Another aspect that is different between the two terms is that a person working carefully is confident in his approach and works carefully in order to save his work from any kind of damage or harm. On the other hand, a person who works cautiously lacks confidence and is apprehensive or fearful, from the very beginning, of what may come in due course of his work. Any decision made cautiously, and not carefully, may never be a long-term, convincing and confident decision because in it, the decision maker himself is not sure as to what the outcome might be.
Any individual, who is told to work carefully, has his own room to work in his n comfortable manner. On the other hand, any individual who is told to do a work with more caution does not have the freedom to work with the confidence and comfort, as a fear of some kind or the other always lingers at the back of his mind, making him nervous and thus he cannot put his maximum efforts to do the work he in engaged in doing.
If psychological aspect is used to differentiate between the two words, careful will be termed as an action that any individual does while performing any kind of work, while cautious will be defined as a state of mind that prevails in an individual, when he is supposed to do an act that is dangerous or might be harmful in one way or the other.
Now let us take the example of careful adventurer and a cautious adventurer. A cautious adventurer always has a fear of being attacked or harmed by one animal or the other in an unknown land. On the other hand, a careful adventurer goes on an adventure trip with all the preparations to either avoid or deal with any unfamiliar circumstances. In short, a careful person emerges as a winner, while a cautious person cannot give his 100 percent to any kind of work, and very rarely yield extraordinary results in the work that they do.