Since we only have the capacity to focus on a fraction of what we encounter, our brains are constantly filtering what gets our attention. In this filtering process, our brains are easily distracted because we are wired to pay attention to any new stimulus, especially if we perceive it to be a threat to our survival. This filtering causes us to have what psychologists call a negativity bias.
Humanity on the whole has never been better off than we are now. The world is safer, we live longer, we are healthier, and many people are wealthier.
But as humans, our brains are naturally wired to cynicism. We’re more likely to focus on the negatives of a situation and not even notice the positives.
Recently, one of my daughters received an award that caused me to pause. Among the awards she received was the best listener award at her Dance Team banquet. Instead of the certificate below, I thought she should have been given a gold embossed ear trophy! This is an award that I would have never won as a teenager but it is one that I have strived for as an adult, both in my personal and business life.