On Pessimism

March 08 2013

Over the last 10 years I have struggled to become optimistic. If you know a pessimist, you'll know that it can be frustrating at times and nearly impossible to help them become more positive.

Here are a few tips I learned over the years:

Reward your failures: This works to return my mood/optimism quickly and avoid those long periods of being jaded. It is too easy to fall back into your comfort zone. The key is to avoid the temptation to “shut down”.

Celebrate your successes: This is how I make continuous enthusiasm a habit, celebrating either outcome.

Think long term: Every year I write a report on how my family is doing and we use it as a way to reflect on how our efforts have improved our situation. (Don't let long term thinking overwhelm though, cling to progress and shy away from overly ambitious goals at first.)

Face your anxieties head on, use logic to convince yourself of your emotional fallacies, and remember that no matter how much you want to fight against optimism, you cannot deny optimists are generally happier and more successful.

I am a Software Engineer in my 30s out of Utah and just had my first kid. Shout out to any other first time parents currently experiencing sleepless nights!

Kevin Munns
[email protected]
Salt Lake City, UT

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