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:
brain's negative bias
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.