Resolutions and a new year go hand in hand.
We’re bucking that trend in 2015.
Instead, we’re more determined than ever to adopt a realistic state of mind. Not optimistic. But not pessimistic either.
Why the change? Reading umpteen surveys that show pessimists are likely to live longer, healthier lives than those wearing rose-colored glasses. And then encountering caveats from research psychologists who note that every response is situational. Their points: Getting on the defensive, for example, helps lower expectations and anticipate what could go wrong. [ Which many of us do for a living.] On the other hand, those with positive outlooks might find a job more easily.
Our point of view?
A balance between two extremes, sometimes difficult to maintain, is optimal. In fact, many businesses could profit by learning that being realistic is the way to go. Shareholders, employees, and other significant audiences aren’t necessarily fooled by cheery prognostications and smiley-faced quotes. “Spin” doesn’t work in our transparent world. Everyone is seeking the mean, an authentic picture of current events and a realistic perspective of what this all means in the future.
No less a promoter of positive psychology than the University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman is, amazingly, modifying his own “gotta be upbeat” views. To flourish, he says in Flourish, demands four attributes: a positive emotion, engagement with what one is doing, a sense of accomplishment, and good relationships. All of which result in a life of well-being.
How are you un-spinning?