Negativity burns happiness

In a TV interview last week, Justin Langer, coach of the Australian national men’s cricket team was asked about his thoughts on recent negative media reports about his team. His unequivocal response was that he pays little attention to such criticism because “negativity burns happiness”.

That is an interesting response on many levels, not least because it is another example of elite sport overtly referencing ‘happiness’ as a valued and finite resource. But it’s the turn of phrase – the direct polarising of negativity and happiness that really stands out.

There is, clearly, a very important place in wellbeing and performance science for subtlety and nuance. But there is a risk of over-complicating basic elements of the human condition. Sometimes, three words may be enough.

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David Bott

Hi, I'm David Bott, Associate Director of the Institute of Positive Education in Australia.