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The other 2% / the problem with positive thinking

We don’t want to get into the business of re-posting too many blog posts written by other people.

However, there are certain cases when you have to make an exception:

  1. head-clickme2When the post really hits the nail on the head
  2. When you realise that you can’t make the point any better
  3. And potentially, when the post is written by Seth Godin (especially because I’m sure he wouldn’t mind)

The reaction to Esc has been overwhelmingly positive.  Incredibly so. Check out the reactions page if you don’t believe us.

I would say 98% of the reactions we get are amazing.  Lots of constructive feedback, ideas, suggestions and tweaks – which are all great.

What about ‘the other 2%’ then?

The other 2% focus on telling us why the idea won’t work, why we’ll never turn it into a sustainable model, why it’s naive.  The other 2% usually haven’t read the front page of the blog to understand our concept.  Or understood that we’ve only been live for 8 weeks and haven’t launched our main website yet.

However, more importantly than that – the other 2% seem mainly to be negative thinkers (ironically, they are often in jobs that make them unhappy – i.e. the very people we want to help).

Rather than demonstrating encouragement, belief, and optimism they react in a way that communicates cynicism, fear, and lack of belief. I suppose they represent exactly what Esc is trying to fight – people accepting the status quo even if they don’t like it.

Fortunately for us, the 98% of positive reactions are more than enough to convince us that we’re heading in the right direction. And, oddly enough, the other 2% of reactions merely motivate us further.

So I suppose it is a ‘Win Win’ situation then.

All we have to do is prove it can work…

0911eric

The problem with positive thinking – Seth’s post…

“All the evidence I’ve seen shows that positive thinking and confidence improves performance. In anything.

“Give someone an easy math problem, watch them get it right and then they’ll do better on the ensuing standardized test than someone who just failed a difficult practice test.

“No, positive thinking doesn’t allow you to do anything, but it’s been shown over and over again that it improves performance over negative thinking.

“Key question then: why do smart people engage in negative thinking? Are they actually stupid?

“The reason, I think, is that negative thinking feels good. In its own way, we believe that negative thinking works. Negative thinking feels realistic, or soothes our pain, or eases our embarrassment. Negative thinking protects us and lowers expectations.

“In many ways, negative thinking is a lot more fun than positive thinking. So we do it.

“If positive thinking was easy, we’d do it all the time. Compounding this difficulty is our belief that the easy thing (negative thinking) is actually appropriate, it actually works for us. The data is irrelevant. We’re the exception, so we say.

“Positive thinking is hard. Worth it, though.”

  • http://www.thenextchallenge.org Tim

    I just whipped out my calculator to work out what vote I had to give this article so that the average would be 9.8 (i.e. 98%).

    It obviously has good taste because the answer was 10.