Because of the natural structure of your brain (and
factors), pessimism has a tendency to worm its way into your
mind. Preventing that from happening, or getting rid of it once
it has established itself in your mind is not that difficult
if you know how and if you are sufficiently motivated.
Being pessimistic may be natural in many ways, but once someone has
recognized pessimism and wants to get rid of it, pessimism can
be cured. But if you have the goal of curing someone else's
pessimism, how should you go about it? Should you tell
someone they are pessimistic? Probably not. Most people would
get defensive, of course.
Should you point out the thought-mistakes they make when they say
something pessimistic? No. About any specific pessimistic statement,
you could probably argue all day and never really get anywhere
if the person isn't already committed to curing her own pessimism.
The best approach is to aim at the motivation.
Deal with the how-to once she's motivated. Rather than argue
with a particular pessimistic statement, convince her that optimism
in general is superior to pessimism in general. Optimism is better
in several ways:
1. It makes you more effective and successful
2. It makes you more persistent
3. You're more motivated to pursue goals and learn
4. Optimism prevents heart disease
5. It prevents cancer
6. It strengthens your bones
7. Optimism makes your intestines function better
8. It's good for your relationships
9. It makes you happier
One of the easiest, most practical and concrete approaches to
converting someone to at least try to be more optimistic is to
mention the consequences of pessimism on health. Remember that.
Talk about the consequences on health. Nobody wants to
get a disease.
Optimism isn't just nice. It doesn't just
make you feel better. It has a real, measurable, and significant
influence on your health and on your ability to succeed in the
Pessimism is unhealthy, unproductive, unnecessary,
and undesirable. Bringing up these facts can open the conversation
and begin the process of conversion to optimism better than any
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