Thursday, September 27, 2012


Ale suggested that pessimists might be happier than optimists, as the outcomes they experience exceed their expectations more often than they do for optimists. Nico jumped in to say that optimism can lead to better outcomes, so pessimists might actually experience worst results than optimists. I agreed with this point - particularly for situations that are closely correlated to your own actions, and even more so if there are other people involved - who will be influenced by your attitude. For example, the outcome of a soccer match in which you are playing. On the other hand, the likelihood you will win the lottery won't be influenced by your optimism about it.

But back to Alejandro's original point, we are definitely happier when reality exceeds our expectations, so we need to manage expectations. Ideally have expectations that are realistic and that we can exceed, but that will push us to do our best. I mentioned to the boys how companies must set goals that they can achieve, at least most of the times, so that employees feel good about their accomplishments. But they shouldn't "sandbag", i.e., set goals that are easy to meet and won't require that the team work really hard. And, sometimes, you do want to set some crazy unrealistic goals. That is how amazing things often happen - and how we can grow and learn by stretching ourselves outside our comfort zones.

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