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Pessimism Is Good For You

The constant admonitions to “think positive!” aren’t as useful in achieving your goals as we once thought. Of course, fatalism isn’t much help, either. But tempering one’s optimism with a real-world dose of pessimism may do the trick.

(YouTube link)

The Science of Us from New York magazine presents the psychological research showing that positive thinking can get in the way of getting where we want to be.  -via Digg


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"Hope for the best but prepare for the worst" was something my younger stepbrother picked up in the military; it subsequently helped him through his wife's late-term miscarriage.
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So... basically, don't be optimistic or pessimistic. Be realistic/pragmatic. I think I understand a little better now how most of the optimistic people I meet assume I'm being pessimistic when I'm being pragmatic. Considering even one possible bad scenario and planning out how to deal with it is anathema to optimism.

Kinda makes me wonder how many optimists get trapped in burning buildings because they refuse to consider fire escape routes before the fire starts.
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