Shawn Achor – Before Happiness

Shawn Achor hat mit seinem TED-Vortrag „The happy secret to better work“ seinen Forschungsgegenstand der positiven Psychologie sehr erfolgreich präsentiert. Nun gibt es ein Gespräch mit ihm, das er bei Google geführt hat. Es ist gespickt mit vielen guten Geschichten und tollen Ideen. Vor allem aber hat es mir folgende Passage angetan:

Optimism is great for a lot of things but it doesn’t stop cars from hitting us. It doesn’t stop reality from impinging upon us. And that’s irrational optimism. And there’s books and ideas out there that if you’re like „if I just change my mindset, everything will change for me“. And that’s actually irrational. Because if you sugarcoat the present we make bad decisions in the future. And if we think that reality won’t impact us we don’t make any changes to that reality. And it causes us to be blind to injustices that are going on in the world. Or to racism. Or to weaknesses in our life that we want to improve.

An irrational optimists don’t put on a seat belt because they don’t think anything bad can happen to them and a pessimist doesn’t put on a seat belt because they think they’re going to die anyway.

But a rational optimist, which is what I’m hoping people go for with this idea, rational optimism doesn’t start with rose-colored glasses. It starts with a realistic assessment of the present, both the good and the bad, but maintains the belief that our behavior matters. It’s linked to our social support networks. I love that. The rational optimism takes a realistic assessment of the present first but maintains the belief my behavior matters. It’s linked to the people around me.

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