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BBC

How being realistic can be key to your wellbeing

How being realistic can be key to your wellbeing

bbc.com

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Unrealistic Optimism

The tendency to over-expect the probability of good things happening while negating the likelihood of anything bad happening is a common human trait.

Studies consistently show that a large majority of the population (about 80% according to most estimates) display an overl...

Pessimism, or having a bias towards a negative outcome, has a fan base too, as it seems that pessimists are immune to disappointment.

Their view of life already considers the worst possible outcome as the default one, and anything better than that can only improve it.

Losing something we already have is twice as much pain than gaining the same. This skewed feelings towards loss is known as loss aversion.

Expectations always dampen the feelings of happiness, always setting us up in advance for a dose of disappointment.

Both optimism and pessimism are judgemental biases that try to bend reality inside our minds and can lead to worse outcomes and suboptimal levels of happiness.

Being on either side can lead to poor decisions in career, finance and just about anything involving risk and uncertainty.

To make good decisions, one has to have accurate, reliable information, free from any bias or prejudice.

Realists tend to have the best cost-benefit ratio of handling uncertainty while maintaining a healthy level of well-being and happiness.

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