Friday, December 26, 2014

Optimistic vs. Pessimistic Mind

“Can Do” or “Can’t Do” attitudes are the states of mind.

An optimistic mind sees the sunny side of the things and the world; a pessimistic mind sees the dark side of the things and the world; there’s nothing absolutely right or wrong with both types of minds, but it is optimistic mind pushes the world moving forward and makes the life progressive.

Optimism is like the gas pedal, and pessimism is like the brake pad.  Optimism is built on a positive perception or a belief linked to one’s expectations some of which may take the time to turn into the reality. However, people do also develop a leaning towards a pessimistic bias and although both are states of mind, they are probably separate but are related constructs. Our gene/environment interaction drives our behaviors whilst cognitive development enables us to separate ourselves from the immediacy of a situation and think. People with optimistic mind are better motivated to proactively pursue the goals, and set higher expectation; like the gas pedal, to accelerate the speed; while people who have learnt to be more pessimistic tend not to think but react at work if the culture of the organization tends to be more command and control with over-controlling leaders then it will both cause and reinforce. Like a brake pad, the pessimistic mind can keep you cautious, but shouldn't stop you from moving on.

The cautious optimism is the positive attitude to push the life and world forward. One’s optimistic bias tends to dominate particularly during those early years as we are constantly driven to try new things. Many of us start out in life with 'glass half full' attitude; It is those early years when are learning by doing increases at a spectacular rate. Many of us continually see the world in a positive way throughout life. And then, life experiences - setback, tragedies, travesties, hardships, obstacles etc, all condition our minds to fear adversities. Apprehensions take over optimism, and we learn to visualize the dark side of the moon. The blindly optimistic mind is perhaps due to the “luck” or plentifulness without tasting of failures. But at the ultimate level, the conscious optimism is that you feel strong connection with nature even if you are in the hardship or hitting roadblocks via the journey to the destination you set in advance, and you can still keep the cautiously optimistic attitude which keeps you energized and motivated to continually fill out the water to make the glass full in an elegant way.

“Can Do” or “Can’t Do” attitudes are the states of mind. An optimistic mind develops a “Can Do” attitude because the brain is more malleable than we think and anyone can learn to change to a growth mindset. If add a healthy dose of caution and keep laser focus, it is a positive digital mind which keeps the world flow and “makes impossible possible.” Many people have a scarcity mentality and see the negative in everything or simply automatically see the logical fact that half of the space in the glass isn't filled. It is half empty.... ....different reaction for different folks on different days. A pessimist will attribute most things as likely to go wrong, some of which may be down to the individual who has learned to be helpless, and develops a ‘Can’t Do’ attitude with a sense of being out of control. Other people with a negative view of the world will always find someone else to blame. They behave in a way that prevents them being at risk by adopting a defensive, ‘Won’t Do’ attitude by over-controlling what they can. If anything does go right in their negative world they put it down to luck. This is one of the reasons most change programs at work fail.

Breaking your “thinking habit” may take more than 21 days: Just like an optimistic mind shouldn't act blindly without vision and strategy; a pessimistic mind shouldn't keep static mind, filling with fear and negativity only. How to break your habit to think in a cautiously optimistic way? Gallup's survey - 87% of the global workforce is disengaged - now there are some in there that are functioning, but that only means 13% are holding up the rest. The 21 days to break a habit comes from research by medical institutes on phantom limb syndrome. The research showed that on average it took 21 days for the subconscious mind to be retrained. Breaking a habit can happen much quicker and depends on many things including, purpose, commitment etc. Keep optimistic and positive even the road is not smooth; be cautious, but not overly pessimistic either in good time or bad time.

The cautiously optimistic mind is a digital fit thinking: seeing it half full has a massive difference in mindset, and being capable of making it full is the “Can Do” attitude and aptitude.


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