Here in Calgary we are finally experiencing some nice warm (some would say ‘hot’) weather. It’s interesting how weather seems to affect our ability to be optimistic. It’s difficult to stay positive and upbeat when the weather is not so pleasant. You may not have noticed it when the weather is unpleasant for many days or weeks in a row, but when the weather suddenly turns nice, it sure seems noticeable! Are we human beings that fickle that weather can affect our outlook? Some would say we’re actually hard-wired for positivity and that if we weren’t, we’d not have the instinct to survive as a species.
The woman whose photo appears above is Dr. Tali Sharot, author of, “The Optimism Bias: a tour of the irrationally positive brain.” She talks about how if we didn’t think that things would ‘turn out all right’ we wouldn’t try anything and so this is a survival mechanism for us human beings. Now, I’m dramatically simplifying Dr. Sharot’s argument, but it is interesting to think about the optimism of people who feel they are not working toward’s their goals and dreams for their own lives. And when we look closer at their optimism, we find that, in some cases, there are problems with their ability to see that ‘things will turn out all right.’
Check out Dr. Tali Sharot’s TED Talk here.
Any time you hear any of the “not-blank-enoughs,” you should be alerted to the need for optimism. You know, when people say they are not talented enough, not skilled enough, not _____ enough, they are viewing themselves in ways that prevent them from succeeding. We have to embrace the idea that ‘things will turn out all right” in order to proceed with our plans. Henry Ford’s famous quotation, “whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right” highlights the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy and the importance of optimism. No one is arguing for unmitigated optimism not grounded in reality, however, what we can do is look at our own perspectives and our own thinking to see how we are getting in our own way.
What do you think? Please comment below.