How Being Sad Motivates Me

I know I can’t possibly be the only one to feel this way, so I decided it would be a good idea to write about it. This one’s for all the sad boys and girls out there. I know that there’s a sort of “sad culture” growing on Twitter and Tumblr – which also inspired me to write this article!

Me. Everyday. (photo by hang_in_there)

Me. Everyday. (photo by hang_in_there)

It seems as though the thing that helps me get my work done faster, more efficiently, and even more precisely, is to be slightly sad. Slightly pessimistic. I understand that that may sound weird or unhealthy to some people, but give me a chance to at least explain why.

When I’m sad, it’s like nothing can stand in the way of me and my To Do list. I become more motivated. Perhaps it’s a means to push those negative thoughts to the back of my mind – but regardless of if it is or not, I can’t deny that all of my responsibilities magically become finished when I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps.

It’s not just homework or writing articles though. It goes further than that. It’s cleaning. It’s cooking and meal prepping. It’s exercising. Everything somehow gets done, even in the most impossible of time spans.

Oh, and it’s not just being sad. It’s being mad too. But I rarely get worked up, so that’s why this article mainly alludes to sadness.

Other people have felt the same way. Lifehacker has posted an article called “The Positive Power of Negative Thinking.”

The article quotes Norem and Cantor, saying:

“Most people assume that strategic optimists outperform defensive pessimists, because they benefit from confidence and high expectations. Norem and Cantor found that defensive pessimists were more anxious and set lower expectations for themselves in analytical, verbal, and creative tasks. Yet they didn’t perform any worse.

“At first, I asked how these people were able to do so well despite their pessimism,” Norem writes in The Positive Power of Negative Thinking. “Before long, I began to realize that they were doing so well because of their pessimism… negative thinking transformed anxiety into action.” By imagining the worst-case scenario, defensive pessimists motivate themselves to prepare more and try harder.”

One of the commentators on the article, Tristan, says this:

“I’ve always felt that one of my best traits was my ability to be pessimistic about a problem. I’m an engineer, nothing is impossible, but some things require a bit more effort. The danger of pessimism happens when you start convincing yourself that things are hopeless and that it will never work, but there are times when you gotta be realistic and recognize that the effort required to make something work isn’t worth the results.”

Maybe we have to think outside of the box. Maybe being sad doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Maybe it’s quite normal.

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