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Overly Optimistic Thinking

Friday, December 23, 2011

I have been reading a couple of books about people's tendency to be overly optimistic about their abilities to do something, and about the world in general. No one ever thinks the house will burn, or the hurricane will hit THEIR home, and tend to underinsure. People always assume they will pay all bills on time, never overdraw their accounts, never lose their jobs, so never read the fine print in their documents. Then when something DOES happen it's someone else's fault for not explaining consequences carefully enough.

Alas, things DO happen. I always plan for the possible negatives. I give myself "cookie insurance" during the holidays: I keep them away from me, then give them all away. I eat very carefully and during this season I write EVERYTHING down. This is all in anticipation of the possibility that I may not live up to my own expectations without a LOT of careful planning.

Many people consider it "negative thinking" to even consider a less than perfect outcome, but I am old enough to know that I can "positive think" myself into a corner. I am aware of my weaknesses, and know all too well that I can put myself in an uncomfortable position where inner strength won't be enough. I know that sometimes I can't rely on "motivation" any more than I can rely on the weather or the guy driving the other car.

So I always carry insurance. I carry it on my life, my cars, my home, and my eating.
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