You’ve heard it this sentence time and time again – “We live in a dangerous world.”
Let’s say we choose to believe this. It puts us in a defensive, “fight-or-flight” mode. We’re constantly scanning for the negative.
Here’s what our scanning for the bad, the negative, costs us…
- Lowered creativity
- Increased stress levels
- Decrease in motivation
- Lowered ability to accomplish our goals
Lawyers are trained to look for the bad and find the problems. You know what this has costs them? Their happiness.
Lawyers are 3.6x more likely to suffer from major depressive disorder than the rest of the employed population.
Now, don’t hear me say that we shouldn’t do our jobs. Tax auditors should look for errors. Athletes should be competitive. Traders should apply rigorous risk analysis. The problem comes when individuals cannot “compartmentalize” their abilities.
When you chose to see the world through the lens of optimism, you…
- Set more goals (and more difficult ones)
- Put more effort into attaining goals
- Stay focused on your goals in the face of difficulty
- Rise above obstacles more easily
- Cope better in high-stress situations
- Able to maintain higher levels of well-being during times of hardship
PLUS, expecting positive outcomes makes it more likely that you’ll get a positive outcome.
All this to say, when you choose to see the world through optimism instead of scanning for the negative, you are more successful in life.