Optimism and credit cards

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

They are good tools. That was what I was told about credit cards. “When used properly a credit card is a very good tool.” I was twenty years old and I thought how could you use a credit car improperly, swipe and repeat did not seem to difficult to me. Later I got my credit cards bills and things started to become more clear. 

Every human being has a optimism bias.  Scientist who study the human brain know where and how the optimism bias works in the human brain. One scientist has even developed a way, using magnetic fields, to remove the optimism bias.  The removal of the optimism bias makes a human pragmatic and realistic, but shouldn’t we have some optimism? I mean don’t you think hope is the quintessential trait that makes us human? 


I can’t help but compare the optimism bias to credit cards both are really excellent tools. There is nothing wrong with using a credit card to build credit and take care of an unexpected expense. There is however a problem using credit cards to pay for expected bills.  There is nothing wrong with a positive attitude, however there is also nothing wrong with expecting and planning for success but also planning for failure.

I heard a comedian say that everyone needs a plan B. His proof was a question he poised to his audience. “How many of you are doing what you said you would do in grade school?” The comedians joke was funny but he made a good point. Our plans need to have optimism but at the same time we should prepare for setbacks. It is important in life to never give up on your dreams but to also realize that your dreams are going to change. 

I think if we understand life we will understand how to use the tool called the optimism bias. The best quote I ever heard for understanding life and I quoted it before comes from John Lennon

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” 

See how great is that quote?




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