I was reading The Undoing Project, the latest book by one of my favorite authors, Michael Lewis. It’s about two psychologists / behavioral economists, Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman. I’ve written here before about their work after I read Kahneman’s amazing book, Thinking Fast and Slow.
This excerpt from the Lewis book struck me:
Amos was not merely an optimist; Amos willed himself to be optimistic because he had decided pessimism was stupid. When you are a pessimist and the bad thing happens, you live it twice, Amos liked to say. Once when you worry about it, and the second time when it happens.
That reminded me of something I’ve said many times, which I learned from my mother-in-law, about procrastination. When I asked her many years ago how she manages to never procrastinate, she told me procrastination makes everything doubly hard. It’s better to just do the thing and get it over with because, “When you procrastinate you have to worry about it all day, and then you still have to do it.”
Procrastination and pessimism increase the time you spend worrying. So, it’s beneficial to find strategies to avoid them, such as the “Eat the Big Frog First” mantra and learning to see the glass as half full with a gratitude practice.
What are you doing to be more optimistic, and to avoid procrastination? Please join the conversation with your comments…