Sign up FAST! Login

5 steps to becoming an expert: - Barking up the wrong tree

Stashed in: #happiness, Creativity, Luck!, Practice, Learn!, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Lawyers!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

It isn't just 10,000 hours.

"A negative attitude, not a positive attitude, makes you more likely to learn from your mistakes. In fact, the shift to focusing on negative feedback is one of the marks of an expert mindset."

So optimists are luckier but pessimists are better learners?

That's a fascinating area I've been thinking a lot about lately. For instance, positive thinking leads to more creativity but negativity is better for analytic thinking. To truly engage in deliberate practice and improve you must be critical of your performance and analyze it in an unbiased way -- and those are strengths of negativity.

Optimists would likely be luckier because they would probably seek more opportunity and also spot the opportunites in "bad" things.

The same malleability that allows for happiness in "objectively bad" scenarios and lets positive people see opportunity in lousy circumstances can be a liability in terms of learning because it allows one to make excuses and poor diagnoses.

One of the keys to happiness is seeing bad things as not your fault. One of the keys to being an expert is realizing your errors are your fault so you can change them.

Really interesting duality here. Still reading and trying to reconcile... :)

This could be one of those "to everything there is a season" situations.

It could also explain why the most effective teams balance the positive and negative.

Totally agree. You do NOT want an overly optimistic attorney. You want one brimming with negativity. Seriously.

Now that you mention it, every great lawyer I've met has this in common.

It makes them very good at their job but, sadly, it does not make them very happy people.

Wow, I would hate if there was a tradeoff between happiness and being good at my work.

Shawn Achor discusses this in his work. They have to learn how to turn it off outside work and that's not easy to do. You are effectively training your mind to think negatively and to see the worst possible scenario in everything.

This can be utterly disastrous to your happiness and personal life. As Seligman's piece explains:

When adjusted for sociodemographics, lawyers topped the list, suffering from depression at a rate of 3.6 times higher than employed persons generally. Lawyers also suffer from alcoholism and illegal drug use at rates far higher than non-lawyers. The divorce rate among lawyers, especially women, also appears to be higher than the divorce rate among other professionals.

Lawyers are exceptionally bad (as a group) at turning off work when they're in other environments.

You May Also Like: