Saturday, December 01, 2012

"Learned Optimism" or... "Hard Optimism"

In the recent year-end staff closure session, we went through a session about Resilience... well, the one that really struck me was about "optimism", which has been defined as one of the elements. In fact, I think it's critical because it's one that generates from self, and to some extent, it demands we, ourselves to "manipulate" how we think (ok, though we put it across as we can learn to be optimistic).

Of course, after going through the survey designed by Martin Seligman, many of us, to our misbelief that we were labelled being "pessimists"! Hahaha... we were taken aback! Of course, it's really based on the perspective on how the inputs were analysed. On the other hand, think about it, it's about being cautious (or sometimes overly cautious?)

According to the write-up in Wikipedia:

"Other differences exist between pessimists and optimists in terms of explanatory style:
  • Permanence: Optimistic people believe bad events to be more temporary than permanent and bounce back quickly from failure, whereas others may take longer periods to recover or may never recover. They also believe good things happen for reasons that are permanent, rather than seeing the transient nature of positive events. Optimists point to specific temporary causes for negative events; pessimists point to permanent causes.
  • Pervasiveness: Optimistic people compartmentalize helplessness, whereas pessimistic people assume that failure in one area of life means failure in life as a whole. Optimistic people also allow good events to brighten every area of their lives rather than just the particular area in which the event occurred.
  • Personalization: Optimists blame bad events on causes outside of themselves, whereas pessimists blame themselves for events that occur. Optimists are therefore generally more confident. Optimists also quickly internalize positive events while pessimists externalize them."
So, based on my test score:

As Doreen shared (based on her reading), it's also dependent on culture! Yes, I agree. Asians tend to be more humble (like what Mrs Chew said) and we tend to work on to improve ourselves despite the fact that we are pretty ok... haha... Perfectionist in act! Of course, anything that's too extreme will have its downside. The same applies to the those who have been diagnosed very optimistic, too! So, we should not be overly concern over the score, but the score would be an indication on how we see things and put things in perspective, and sometimes they could turn out to be our strengths :)
Look from another perspective, it also to some extent an indication of how reflective we are, in terms of our actions and how we do things... the ability to look inwards, which is definitely important for us to continually strive to improve :)

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