Positive Attitudes Lead to Positive Outcomes

I am naturally a pessimistic person, but I’ve always tried to convince myself it’s a good thing, because when you assume the worst you are rarely disappointed. Some years ago it was explained to me that negative attitudes tend to lead to negative outcomes and positive attitudes lead to positive outcomes. I’m obviously oversimplifying the message. Although I like to think I took this on board, the reality is I didn’t.

Something that has bugged me in recent years is we as DBAs and RDBMS developers seem to be stuck in a groundhog day of trying to explain to the world why they are wrong and we are right as far as using the database properly. In many cases I fully agree with the points being made, but feel we are focusing on the problem, rather than the solution. There are some exceptions out there!

I think part of the problem is some of us have had these same conversations for so many years that we’ve become jaded by them. It’s not so much, “Look at all the cool things that happen if you do this!”, and more, “Look at what you are screwing up because you are getting it wrong!” These are two sides of the same coin, but the reaction to these two messages are quite different.

People typically react badly to criticism. When you approach a situation with negativity you are more likely to close people down and make them less responsive to suggestion. They will look for an edge case that “proves you’re wrong”, or dismiss you as being an elitist prick. The chances of the conversation becoming toxic are so much higher if it begins on a negative note.

I’m completely guilty of this too. I’m a very sarcastic person, both about myself and others. To one person this can be seen as funny. To another this might be interpreted as me thinking I’m better than other people. I can think of several situations recently I could have handled a lot better!

I feel I’ve got to reboot and focus more on the solution and less on the problem, because quite frankly listening to myself piss and moan about this stuff is getting boring and has achieved nothing so far.



PS. I’m smiling to myself, knowing that the next post I write will probably be full of me moaning about something, and the community will not be slow in reminding me of what I said here. 🙂

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

3 thoughts on “Positive Attitudes Lead to Positive Outcomes”

  1. I have been thinking many of these same thoughts, Tim. Having an attitude of “What’s wrong with those developers? Why don’t listen to my years of experience and recognize all our cool technology?” is never going to work. If you haven’t already discovered it, check out Switch by Dan and Chip Heath, which offers concrete ideas for making change happen when change is hard. Based on research and writings from (among many others) Jonathan Haidt and The Happiness Hypothesis.

  2. If somebody is as sharp-minded as you are it is hard to be positive. I consider tekkies right brain hemisphere dominated. This is a 20% minority that realizes a lot of what the 80% majority does wrong. It is hard to be positive.

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