2016/03/22 10:30:58
Can being positive backfire?
      Optimism provides a multitude of benefits across many facets of life. Researchers have linked looking on the bright side to everything from improved pain tolerance to increased longevity. There’s nodenying the incredible power an optimistic outlook can have on our health, relationships, and performance. But like much in life, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There are some cases when an overly optimistic outlook can do more harm than good.
      Suppose there is an online discussion forum on the topic “Can being positive backfire?” Write a post to the forum, clearly stating your opinion and supporting your ideas with specific reasons and examples. You should write about 800 words.
      根据题目,我觉得更偏向于说“过于积极乐观”不好的一面,因为积极心态对人的好处似乎是不言而喻的,过度积极的消极影响反而更值得引起注意。因此我确定立意为过度乐观、一味积极有时候也会带来消极影响,并把题目定positive can be negative,从而让两个反义词形成强烈对比,更加突出主题。
      Recently, it arouses a heated debate that whether being positive can backfire. As is widely accepted that being optimistic is strongly connected to pain tolerance and long life span. However, As a Chinese saying goes, something over is as bad as something less. There are indeed some cases when an overly optimistic outlook can backfire and disappoint us.
      To start with, being too optimistic about yourself can probably make you drowned in blind confidence. We are encouraged to be confident, to trust ourselves that we are always the best and we are the champions in life. It seems that we are the superman, who is powerful beyond imagine. As long as we strive for our goal, we can get whatever we want. However, as a matter of fact, that is not the case. Under many circumstances, being over positive can prevent us from juding the specific situation and making the right decision. It may result in two extreme attitudes but the same sequence--failure and disappointment. On the one hand, overly optimistic can make you neglect you competitors or enemies. You feel so good about yourself that nothing matters in your mind. You are already the winner unconsciously, so you will make less effort to struggle for it. Take me for example, before I took part in the FLTRP speaking contest, I feel so confident about myself. I thought I am good at public speaking because I won the first prize in an English speaking contest in our university. With that "confidence", I did not prepared too much or too carefully. However, my performance in the competition turned out to be a disaster. In front of 5 unfamiliar judges and so many audiences, I started to be nervous. I even forgot my original speech! As a result, I just got the third award and did not enter the final. That shows how terrible to be overly optimistic. On the other hand, being too positive drives you to pursue big dreams that even far beyond your ability. Once you fail on it, you will suffer from a heavy hit. You insist that nothing is impossible as long as you think about it and struggle for it. You can only run 10000 meters, but your "self-confidence" tells you insistently that you can run as far as you like. Maybe you have run 15000 meter, it surpasses your conservative goal--10000 meters, nevertheless, you still have a long way to go to reach 20000 meters. That sense of failure and disappointment may beat you up to pulp. On the contrary, you will doubt and despise yourself. All the examples above illustrates that over optimism imposes a negative influence on individuals.
      Not only being too positive about yourself can cause failure and despair, but also is detrimental for a cooperative relationship. Nowadays, cooperation is far more important than competition. No matter in work or study, cooperation can stimulate each other to new ideas, and differnt people sitting together are more easily to come up with intriging and inspring innovations. However, being over positive bout yourself can sometimes make you self-centered and turn a deaf ear to others' opinions. That is the biggest weakness and advantage of being too self-confident. Recently, Tu Youyou is famous for the winning of Nobel Prize in medical treatment. Whereas, to many people's surprise, she has not got any doctor's degree and is not in a high status. Majority of people may purily focus on the fantastic achievement she makes, but without considering the reasons behind the low status and dissatisfation from the colleagues. According to the report, some colleagues interviewed revealed that Tu Youyou was not willing to share her achivements and fruits in the study. She was not good at cooperating with others, and that also accounts for why she is a Nobel Prize Winner but is not popular and respected by many people. That reminds us of the significance of cooperation and negative effect of being overly positive about ourselves. Maybe you are superior in some regards, but that does not means others do ont have some advantages you can learn from. Being overly positive about oneself buries the seed of potential risks.
      In addition, being too positive offers less opportunities to progress. People who are over optimistic just circle themselves in their own small world, like the frog in the bottom of well--with a mice sight. In ancient times, China suffered poorly from its over selfsatisfaction. In Qing dynasty, the emperor turned a blind eye to the achievements of western countries. He could not be more satisfied with the economy, politics, army and culture. The advanced technology and excellent experiences in other countries are totally ignored by the stupid emperor. Consequently, it was the 'best" era, but also the "worst" era, because since then, China made few accomplishments and that was the beginning for China to fall behind western countries. Chinese used gunpowder to make fireworks and firecrackes for entertainment, while it was applied to military weapons in the West; the compass in China was used for superstitoion, while it was took advantage of by westerners for voyages in the sea. It was exactly the over optimism of China that made a world power to fall behind other countries.
      To conclude, over optimism contributes to individual failure and disappointment, weak cooperative mind and causes a country to stop developing. Therefore, no matter for individuals or countries, being overly positive can turn into negative impacts in some circumstances.
      作者在第一段使用中国成语“过犹不及”来引出自己的观点:过度乐观必受其害。“Something over is as bad as something less.”立论简短有力。但值得注意的是类似于“Recently there’s a heated debate about…”这类开头由于太刻板而不是非常讨喜。
      1. 过分乐观导致盲目自信。一方面,过度乐观使人轻敌;另一方面,过度乐观使人好高骛远。作者在此段的分析推理能力让人佩服,小缺憾是作者举的例子分别是自己参加“外研社杯”英语演讲大赛过于自信而落选和跑步不是想跑多远就能跑多远的例子,虽然也易于理解,为论点提供了支持,但更好的方式是使用更让人信服的例子,比如拿破仑在滑铁卢的失败就是过度乐观,盲目自信,忽略了敌人的优势和力量。
      2. 过度乐观对合作型人际关系有害。作者分析了当代社会中合作往往比竞争重要,而对自己过度乐观则容易导致以自我为中心,不屑于向他人学习。作者此处举了屠呦呦获得诺贝尔奖但却与同事相处不和谐、不善于学习和分享的例子。虽有争议,但无可厚非。
      3. 过度乐观给人留下极小的进步空间,就如井底之蛙,鼠目寸光。此段作者选取了清王朝一度繁华而统治者却目光短浅、闭关锁国的例子,非常巧妙得当。最后一段再一次返回论点,总结三个原因,得出过度乐观对个人对国家都有害的结论。
从结构上看文章结构严谨,善于使用关联词。开头引出论点后,从第二段到第四段属于文章的主体部分,每段分别以“To start with”, “Not only…but also” 和“In addition”开始,结尾段以“In conclusion”开始,结构明晰。
      本文的语言简洁有力,虽并没有使用过多华丽的词汇或复杂的句式,但读起来自然、流畅,使人心旷神怡。作者擅于引用谚语俗语,使用排比、对偶等修辞手法。“something more is as bad as something less”; “a frog in the bottom of well---with a mouse’s sight”; 以及“bury the seed of potential risks”等表达不仅形象贴切,而且寓意深刻。
      同时,由于时间紧迫,文中也出现了像“does not means”和“did not prepared”这种小错误,但并不影响文章的整体,值得我们认真研读,仔细分析并加以学习。