Business > Stop Letting Optimism Cloud Your Judgment

| January 2, 2015

Business School

Harvard Business Review:

We’ve all heard a great deal about the power of positive thinking. But research suggests that positive thinking doesn’t actually help us as much as we think. Dreaming about a successful outcome in the future can be satisfying, but it’s counterproductive at work: you become less motivated to buck up and make a strong effort to tackle challenging goals. So instead of fantasizing about your future success, whenever you have a wish or goal, focus on the main obstacle that stands in your way. You’ll gain energy and direction in order to act – or you’ll realize it’s unrealistic, and you can disengage and be free to pursue more promising endeavors. Although positive thinking feels good in the moment, it often bears a false promise. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic – just make sure you have a clear view of potential obstacles if you want desirable results.

Adapted from “Stop Being So Positive” by Gabriele Oettingen.

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