Monday, March 19, 2007

Ignore all previous suggestions to ignore the past

Made to Stick describes a study which concluded that people who analyzed a negative personal situation by thinking through "how the events unfolded" were happier one week later than people who focused on "the desired future outcome".


Those findings really surprise me. It seems intuitive that to get past a negative situation you should think forward to how you'd like things to be, rather than look back and dwell on the past. But the study showed the opposite. And after another week had passed, the people who were looking back were even happier!

This is not to suggest that you should dwell on the past, but rather look to the past to help discover why you felt or reacted a certain way.

So perhaps we should conclude that while it's important to set goals, you'll reach them more easily by looking back to dissect what has been keeping you from them so far?

Hmmmm. I may have to dwell on that for a while...

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