Crowd1 Inspiration: The Importance of Positive Thinking

Among positive Crowd1 news and stories, we introduce to you this follow up episode of the series called Crowd1 Inspiration. The Crowd1 Inspiration series is dedicated to sharing business and motivational related content, in order to inspire your personal success. 

The key to happiness is often promoted by life coaches and motivation speakers as positive thinking. Quite a few self-help books advocate a similar message, for example The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale states:

“When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force in your mind which by a law of attraction tends to bring the best to you.”

The idea behind this is not solely that optimistic thinking eliminates gloom, but also that it functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy where having nothing but confidence in your success will bring it to you. So in terms of being responsible for your own happiness, having an overall optimistic thinking doesn’t seem like a bad strategy after all. This might be the reason why unrealistic optimism is one of the most common human traits. Being optimistic can be vital in some cases as long as it comes with a realistic approach. Majority of people tend to overestimate the probability that good things will happen and underestimate the probability bad things will happen. 

Pessimists are people who tend to see the glass as half empty rather than full and who rather focuses on the outcomes of a scenario. The world of a pessimist might seem gloomy and dark, but the truth is that the pessimist has a natural immunity to disappointment! For example, the pain of an unexpected $500 loss is 

twice as intense as the excitement of an unanticipated $500 profit. Usually, the result of a profit or loss depends on what result was expected. Having a $500 pay rise may feel like a loss if you'd expect $1000. Unrealistic optimists set themselves up for disappointment after disappointment.

Professor David de Meza from London School of Economics and Senior lecturer Chris Dawson from the University of Bath did research by tracking whether its optimists, pessimists or realists that have the highest long term wellbeing. 1,601 people were tracked for over 18 years as they measured wellbeing in both self-reported life satisfaction and psychological distress. The results of the study showed that expectations were just as important as the outcomes. This means that an overestimated outcome as well as an underestimated one both bring the same low wellbeing, therefore the realists do best.

This may come as a relief to many people as it shows that spending your days thinking positively won't necessarily make a difference. Being realistic about your future, your goals and making evidence based decisions will equal in wellbeing without any needed positivity. So should people hold back their optimism and enthusiasm? Not necessarily. The study indeed shows that realists are the happiest. Would this mean that if a change in personality traits was possible, could people boost their wellbeing by becoming realists? Nothing is guaranteed, but it might.

This article is just one of many in the Crowd1 inspiration series, if you enjoy reading this type of content be sure to also read the article about traits of a successful person and different types of intelligence

Please also share this article with your friends and your Crowd1 network using the hashtag #Crowd1inspiration