What Haunts You?

I don’t see dead people, but I do see patterns everywhere. And sometimes they haunt me just like that poor kid in the movies. Patterns can serve us well but when I see interesting and yes – maybe even disturbing implications, I can’t seem to let them go. And just like those ghosts in the movies, it’s weird how these patterns seem to pop out of nowhere and into my consciousness to attack my focus, no matter what I have on my list of to-do’s for the day!

Take today, for example. Based on a series of coincidental conversations this week along the same theme, I’m struck by the notion that distraction and lack of focus relates to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Curiously, you can be overwhelmed by an inordinate amount of work or the lack thereof. You can also be overwhelmed by a combination of having too much work to do and valuing none of it that’s stacked up in front of you.

Here’s the pattern that I’m haunted by: Does being overwhelmed lead to an inability to focus AND does this all stem from an optimistic or pessimistic outlook? Are optimistic people less prone to feeling overwhelmed and thus stay focused and on course? Conversely, are pessimistic Patties prey to falling victim to a life of endless distraction, focus dilution and thwarted progress?

With my handy research assistant, Google, I discovered I’m not alone in questioning the potential connections between being overwhelmed, optimism/pessimism, and their outcomes on performance. Apparently, it’s a puzzling pattern that continues to haunt many of us. Just in case this is beginning to haunt you and keep you from your work, read what the studies say here.