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Guidelines for using optimism

The following advice is taken from Professor Martin Seligman's books Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness.

 Be optimistic, and consciously use optimism building techniques  

  • If you are in an achievement situation (getting a promotion, selling a product, writing a difficult report, winning a game)
  • If you are concerned about how you will feel (fighting off depression, keeping up your morale)
  • If the situation is apt to be protracted and your physical health is an issue
  • If you want to lead and inspire others.
Don't use optimism techniques 
  • If your goal is to plan for a risky and uncertain future
  • If your goal is to counsel others whose future is dim don't use optimism initially
  • If you want to appear sympathetic to the troubles of others don't begin with optimism though you can work towards it when their confidence picks up.
DO NOT USE OPTIMISM, OR ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO,  WHEN THE COST OF FAILURE IS HIGH.
 

 

 
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