Optimism 2.0

by 27 April, 2019 0

So, what is optimism 2.0? Is it a new form of optimism? Is it a refined version of the original optimism 1.0? No, it was just a catchy title to get you to read this post! The idea that there is always something new, something better.

As strange as it seems there really is always something new and, optimistically speaking, something better out there. All we need is the confidence to try and to seek change.

We live in an extremely fast-moving world that delivers change at a pace we never imagined before but sometimes this fast pace makes us believe that we can’t keep up and so, for that reason, we cling on to the past.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

I don’t know if that ever was the right approach but even if it was, I don’t believe that it’s an option in today’s world especially when it comes to technology. In order to discover new options and to create (the possibility of) improvement, we need to keep trying to improve. To have the confidence to keep trying we need a healthy dose of optimism.

So, this begs the question; “Is there such a thing as too much optimism?”

The answer to this lies in the so called “Optimism Filter” which is the tendency of healthy individuals to convince themselves that they can win when this is not in fact likely.

This is a bit like what happens when we buy Powerball Lottery tickets—the hunch that we’ve got the winning pick makes us confident enough to plan, often in great detail, how we’ll spend the windfall. The bothersome fact is that our odds of winning are 1 in 259 million. We’re more likely to get elected president, have quintuplets, or be killed by an asteroid.

Does this mean that optimism is a bad thing? Research shows that a positive mindset is generally beneficial. Optimists live longer, healthier lives than pessimists and optimism changes our brains in a positive way, activating the same systems that tend to malfunction in people with depression.

So, what is the danger in Optimism? In OVER optimism?

When we let our hopes for the future override the reality of the present, we can really get ourselves into trouble. For example, entrepreneurs need a certain amount of optimism to start a business. However, the fact is that 70 percent of startups fail within 10 years. This is often due to the fact that the same optimism that was the drive to start the business is the same optimism that causes founders to overlook real problems in the business which eventually lead to their demise. Many optimistic entrepreneurs think that hard work can overcome the problems, but that’s never true. That’s like having a car with square wheels and a massive engine. Eventually it will stop moving forward.

So what’s the solution?

We can learn to practice balanced optimism.

The secret is to embrace our aspirations for the future without letting them blind us to the reality of the present.

To do that, consider the following three key elements:

1. Define your goal: What is the best-case outcome?
2. Face reality: What is the objective probability of this outcome?
3. Increase your chances of success: What, if anything, can I do to maximize the likelihood of my best-case outcome?

With this approach, you will truly find Optimism 2.0 – An optimised form of Optimism!

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