optimism is a cause worth fighting for



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Four negative biases keep pushing us toward pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism. Most of us have no desire to feel or think negatively but we do it anyway, usually against our will. Why is negativity so difficult to resist? Because the negative biases are built into our brains and the biases are a fixed and inevitable part of the nature of reality.

Pessimism and negativity function like viruses or lampreys, sucking the life out of our naturally buoyant natures. The four negative biases are:

the brain's negative bias
communication's negative bias
reality's negative bias
the media's negative bias

Most of us believe we are not pessimistic. But everyone, including you, no matter how hard we have have worked to rid ourselves of it, still has vestiges of the infection still lurking in our minds, and the negative biases are constantly having their influence on us.

The battle for optimism is a lifelong fight, like an epic clash between Good and Evil, taking place in your own mind and in the world at large.

Whether you want it or not, you are playing a role in the battle between strength-giving optimism and insidious, debilitating pessimism. The never-ending battle is noble and worthy and inspiring. When it doesn't feel that way — when it feels like a burden or a hopeless struggle — it is only because of the negativity that infects your thoughts, which you can clean out right now.

If you let these forces (the four negative biases) drive you down into pessimism, cynicism, or defeatism, it has consequences for you personally, and for the people around you. Pessimism is bad for your health, it interferes with your ability to persist and accomplish your goals, and it feels bad.

Your own negativity has the same (but milder) impact on your friends and family (moods, emotions, and thinking-styles are somewhat contagious). Your pessimism or lack of it will strongly influence the explanatory style of your children, influencing their persistence and ability to learn and achieve throughout their lives.

But you, of course, can do something about all of this. You can remove pessimism from your own mind. And you can help others remove it from their minds. And you can also spread the word to the world in general about both the negative biases and their consequences, and also about the undemoralizing technology.

We can restore our lost motivation and bring back the health, the good feelings, the determination, and the energy that was once native to our minds. You know in your heart this is a cause worth fighting for.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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