Happiness : Helpful Or Harmful?

1230 WordsApr 4, 20165 Pages
Happiness: Helpful or harmful? In today’s society, we are relentlessly bombarded with annoying phrases like “things aren’t so bad” or “look on the bright side of life”. (Inside Out Review, 2015). Our brains are wired to think that the optimal level of happiness is achieved when we refuse to think negatively. However, adopting this type of attitude can result in just the opposite of happiness. Having a sense of optimism, especially on a good day almost feels like bliss. However, on a bad day, pushing away any insignificant hint of sadness you may be feeling can put you at an ultimate low. I compare this to the story told by James Baldwin entitled, “Sonny’s Blues”. The author uses a close family member to convey the damaging…show more content…
Their relentless positivity reaches a point where it is irritating. This type of thinking results in a distorted sense of reality, as it causes us to over exaggerating our abilities This condition can be referred to as the optimism bias and 80% of humans have it. “It 's our tendency to overestimate our likelihood of experiencing good events in our lives and underestimate our likelihood of experiencing bad events. So we underestimate our likelihood of suffering from cancer, being in a car accident. We overestimate our longevity, our career prospects. In short, we 're more optimistic than realistic, but we are oblivious to the fact.”( Tali Sharot, 2012) The choice of choosing optimism over realism it can sometimes lead to an unfeasible expectation that can never possibly be met. When we set these expectations for ourselves or others, we feel disappointed when these expectations are unsatisfied. We become more likely to pursue unrealistic expectations which exceed our skill level. We then have the issue of our high ideals, goals, and expectations being unequivocal to our current talent or skill level. The key is not to push away thoughts of negativity, but to use them to our advantage. In order to use your optimism to your advantage you have to find a way to not be on either side of the scale. A equal balance of optimism and realism will be your best aid to achieving your goals. In her speech, Tari Shallot uses a cartoon of several penguins and a large
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