Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Face New Challenges With Irrational Optimism

While investigating high performance, I came across the idea of irrational optimism. Matthew Syed attributes to Arsene Wenger, of Arsenal FC fame, the statement: "No top performer has lacked this capacity for irrational optimism…the ability to remove doubt from his mind." In other words, you do not consider the possibility of failure when you're being irrationally optimistic. Why irrational? Because, naturally, in any significant endeavor, there is always a possibility of failure. The irrational optimism is in having no doubt about your future success.

Recent research findings tell us that being pessimistic may help the elderly live longer. Of course I want people to live longer. What troubles me is the idea that if we consider optimism to be irrational in certain situations, we may conclude that optimism is bad. Read more here...