I’m starting today’s blog off with a question: Is the below glass half full or half empty?
I view the glass as half empty, so I see what is lacking rather than what is present. I have no problem admitting to you, fair readers, that I have a more pessimistic world view than some people I know. The reason I can say this is because pessimism isn’t necessarily a BAD thing so long as you’re not so pessimistic you refuse to get out of bed in the morning. Pessimism completely valid it just happens that society tends to put more value into optimism, which is probably why I remind myself on a daily basis to think more positively and put all of my completely logical and rational worries on the back burner.
Case in point: I’ve recently started studying for the GRE so I can apply to graduate school and got SO discouraged with the math section I immediately started panicking, thinking about how there is no way I’ll pass the test, I won’t get into graduate school, I’ll never earn the salary I believe I deserve etc. A more positive person would probably have thought: Wow, I don’t remember any of this math but it’s such a good thing I’m married to a smart man who will no doubt help me study. I can’t wait to show myself I CAN DO IT!
I really want to strive to be more optimistic because I think it will make me a happier person but is it even possible? I recently read about a study by David Lyyken called The Heritability of Happiness which concludes that our level of happiness, AKA our subjective well-being, is …wait for it… determined by genetics. We all have an “average” level of happiness that our minds are “set” to. So, even if I won the lottery and was SUPER happy and optimistic about the world, in about 6 months my happiness level would re-set to what I’m genetically predisposed to.
I find this study to be quite relieving. Instead of getting down on myself for being a negative-Nancy more often than not, I’m going to continue on my journey to becoming a more happy go lucky person and if I don’t succeed just shrug and blame my parents.
Do you strive to be most positive on a daily basis? If so, will you continue to strive even after I’ve directed you to a study that says it’s useless? (HA! I’m at it again). Leave your comments below.