Friday, October 28, 2005

The secret of a true visionary

An article in the Wall Street Journal today pointed out that the human mind tends to put a positive spin on everything that happens. Any time we are disappointed, we justify it to ourselves by repositioning the event so that it turns out to be what we wanted all along. Perhaos this is just as well. So while Thoreau might have believed that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation," that is probably not true. Other research has shown that people tend to be equally happy over their lives independently of events. A lottery win or a major disability will over time even out so that people return to their previous level of happiness (or unhappiness).

H.G. Wells talked about "all human progress coming from unreasonable men" - people who do not accept received wisdom, are not satisfied by the status quo. However, the unreasonable man person may not be an unhappy one. The challenge is to give free rein to dissatisfaction without becoming unhappy. In fact the true visionary and change agent is excited by the prospect of something new.

2 comments:

Mary Morgan said...

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Andrea Peterson said...

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