Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

What’s the worst that could happen?

Posted by Andrew Cooper on July 17, 2008

Those of you who have been paying attention, and have taught yourself CBT by reading this book or knew about it already, will have recognised straight away that I was catastrophising in that last post.  Of course the government isn’t going to blow all our taxes on building and running websites.  That would be silly.  And anyway, I’m sure there’s a very good reason why the project is costing £60.5m: the civil servants involved would have done their discounted cash flow analyses and I’m sure the numbers all pointed in the right direction.  Calm thoughts.

I have catastrophised a couple of times already on this blog, such as when I contemplated the possibity of blogging causing the collapse of civilisation as a result of a Blog Event Horizon or when I said that the idea I (and now a fair number of other people) have been thinking about might spark a diplomatic incident leading to all-out nuclear war and the end of life as we know it.

I think we can all agree that those would be catastrophes.

Thinking about the worst that can happen isn’t always a bad thing though, as this chap points out:

It’s when catastrophising becomes what CBTers call a NAT (negative automatic thought) – in other words, you catastrophise in response to all ‘activating events‘ – that it causes problems.  Talking of which, one day I’ll introduce you to my mum.

Thankfully I have realised that Simon was joking in his post about that unfeasibly large contract to Capita to develop and run a website. Very funny Simon – enough of that Irish sense of humour, though.

Incidentally, the guy in the video is obviously a management consultant.  Management consultants believe that everything in the universe can be located somewhere on a 2×2 matrix and we spend much of our working lives figuring out exactly how.  We spend much of the rest of it doing Venn diagrams.  Take a look at this excellent and often (for a management consultant) funny website.


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