Why We Set Unattainable Goals
When we set goals, we are not that great at assessing our own ability to achieve them.
Because whether or not a goal is truly attainable can only be known when we start working on it.
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Human beings are not wired to grasp the concept of probability. A chance of winning a lottery, sometimes 1 in 175 million, is not something that bothers us.
The Lottery ti...
The steady appeal of the lottery is due to various psychological tricks by the marketers: suspension of logic and reason and the dreams that it sells.
Using the variable rewards concept of psychology, the marketers ensure that people keep buying their tickets for years, by introducing smaller wins with much better odds. This helped lottery buyers experience the thrill of a win.
The odds to win are so small that winning does not even feature in our decision matrix of buying a ticket. The game of lottery isn’t played on logic, or for investment, but for entertainment.
For as little as two dollars, a person dreams of getting a chance to win thousands of dollars, and that dream is worth the price of the ticket. The bigger the jackpot is, the more the dreams are fed.
Set goals that are:
We have all encountered failure, be it failing a final exam, or a job interview. We're told that overcoming difficult obstacles will make a future success much sweeter.
But new researc...
In a study, people who see grass as greener on the other side predict higher happiness with future success. Participants that reacted like Aesop's fox would try to distance themselves from failure. It suggests that initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed.
Named after "The Fox and the Grapes", the sour-grape effect is a systematic tendency to downplay the value of unattainable goals and rewards. We underestimate our future happiness because we don't always know what we want, and adjust our desires to what appears within reach.
People will rather devalue a goal than devalue the self. It means that people could miss out on the chance to try again because what once seemed impossible might now be within reach.