Monday, January 22, 2007

I'm an optimist

I really wanted to share this one with you - I found it fascinating.

The New York Times has an excellent article about Optimism and Pessimism. As most of you know (since the only people who read this blog are blood related to me, or manage my case at the parole board), I am leaving my position at Comverse to go back to consulting, and to start a small custom development firm. Of course, I'm pretty optimistic about the future, even if I do wake up in a cold sweat once and a while. (OK... nearly every night.) One thing I read in this article is the common fallacy of believing yourself to be better than average:

Optimism tends to reign when people are imagining how their own plans will turn out. Research shows that we systematically exaggerate our chances of success, believing ourselves to be more competent and more in control than we actually are. Some 80 percent of drivers, for example, think they are better at the wheel than the typical motorist and thus less likely to have an accident. We live in a Lake Woebegon of the mind, it seems, where all the children are above average.

This isn't the first time I've read this, and I have to admit, I see the truth in it. I am a better driver than average, without regards to the warning that I received this morning for running - no speeding - through the stop sign near my house. I didn't stop for it. No one in my neighborhood does. No good driver would. So, I thought I'd share this story with you, because most of you are better than average drivers. Right? Right.

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