It is André Spicer(professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School at City, University of London) who said;
“Even if there are a few pesky problems, such as falling life expectancy among poor people in rich nations due to deaths of despair, that’s no reason for negativity. If we are to believe we can do something about these big problems, we are told that we need to think positively. After all, there is a significant body of work showing that people with an optimistic outlook tend to suffer much less distress when faced with big life events such as childbirth, starting a business or facing a significant illness.In recent years, we have started to recognise the limits of being relentlessly upbeat. There is a growing movement of people prompting us to harness the power of pessimism. Pessimism is experiencing a strange revival in philosophy. Eugene Thacker reminds us that it will all inevitably end in ruin one day. Accepting that insight can give a strange sense of consolation and can free us to live.
In self-help circles, people are beginning to embrace negative thinking by turning to stoic philosophers such as Seneca. Instead of closing their eyes and imagining the perfect future, they are sitting back and trying to envisage the worst-case scenario.
More recent work suggests that pessimism and optimism are not polar opposites, but separate systems in our brains. You are not either pessimistic or optimistic. You can be both at the same time, or either.Perhaps the pessimism that infuses our age is not something we should recoil from or wallow in. Maybe pessimism could force us to realistically consider the worst-case scenario. Pessimism could help steel us against the inevitable anxieties that the future brings. A good dose of pessimism may actually motivate us in our attempts to address the problems we face. Pessimism could console and even free us. When mixed with some optimism, pessimism may help us to think more soberly and realistically about challenges that we face. Although being pessimistic is painful, it is certainly better than harbouring delusional fantasies about sunny uplands of the future.”
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