Echoes of the Optimism Bias
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“Our brains aren’t just shaped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by our future.”
80% of people describe themselves as optimists. Our brains are wired to see the bright side. Tali Sharot’s TED talk on our collective bias toward optimism went online.
“We are more optimistic than realistic, but we are oblivious to the fact. Take marriage for example. In the Western world, divorce rates are about 40%. But when you ask newlyweds about their own likelihood of divorce, they estimate it at zero percent. Even divorce lawyers. Optimists are not less likely to divorce, but they are more likely to remarry. In the words of Samuel Johnson, “Remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”
Some say ‘Happiness correlates with low expectations.’
It’s a good theory, but it turns out to be wrong for three reasons:
1) Whatever happens, whether you succeed or you fail, people with high expectations always feel better, because how we feel — when we get dumped or we win employee of the month — depends on how we interpret that event.
2) Regardless of outcome, anticipation makes us happy.
3) Optimism changes subjective and objective reality. Optimism leads to success. If we expect the future to be bright, stress and anxiety are reduced.”
In order to attract something , be it money, a partner or even an object like a fancy car we have read that we must use the law of attraction in order to receive it. While I do believe there is a lot of truth in the term “law of attraction”, why is that even when want something with all our heart, visualize it every day, take action and yet most of the time never wind up getting it? Does it work or does it not? There is one key element in understanding the law of attraction that a lot of people seem to miss. Even after reading a bestselling book like “The Secret” of which the primary emphasis is the law of attraction, it still can leave a reader confused that if I want something deeply, can I attract it into my life? Based on my understanding, the statement that we attract what we deeply desire in our lives is not quite correct as in that case everyone would have what they want. It’s not “what we want” but “what we are” that decides what we will attract in our lives. We have to first internalize what it is we desire if we want to be in the space of attracting that particular thing. A few questions might help in elaborating the concept. We want to attract a spouse – Do we behave like the spouse that we may want to attract? We want to attract wealth – Do we value our time like money, handle challenges correctly, think big & have the kind of vision we should? We want a loving family – Are we loving with your family at all times or is it conditional based on how they behave or depending upon how our moods are? Putting it simple rather than thinking ‘I want ‘ , it would make a lot more sense to ask the question “ “Am I behaving in a manner consistent with that which I want to attract “ If we are merely thinking in terms of the Law of attraction as what we want, we are in fact distancing ourselves from it as it is something that we do not have within us but if the same quality of what we want is built within us, we are much closer to attracting it. It’s a lot like receiving the same energy that we are giving out all the time in our feelings, thoughts & actions with people. When we are thinking, acting & feeling like what we want to attract in our life is when we are most likely to attract what we want as only in that moment we are congruent with what we want & we are more likely to attract the ideas, people & circumstances that we desire. Once we have this awareness, we become more aware about how we are conducting ourselves & whether that behavior is taking us closer or away from our desired object. Lastly I’d like to suggest that do not worry about whether you are going to get it or not but as long as you are working towards attracting something positive that & as long as you are inculcating that quality, it is only going to help you. ——- What motivated me to blog ? Facing day to day challenges, it started to intrigue me how people have learned to be successful despite several odds stacked against them. I wanted to further understand the power of our minds as to how it affects the rest of our life. I thought the best way to learn would be to share what I know & what I ready which is when I found “ Pick the brain” as a very suitable platform to share my thoughts which I hope will help others. Check more of my thoughts at my blog!
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