Thank God It’s Monday #003 — How to stay pessimistic in times of crisis

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💭 #mondaythoughts: How to stay pessimistic in times of crisis

#mondaythoughts is Flow Lab co-founder Jonas’ column about the things he can’t keep to himself


You may know that one of the four essential Flow Training areas in our app is called “Optimism”. And in my coachings and personal experience, I always found it fascinating not just how differently the word itself is interpreted by different people, but also how strongly our emotional well-being seems to be affected by our expectations about the future. And with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, expectation management is the name of the game when it comes to staying sane and surviving 2020 with our heads held high.

And if “staying optimistic” means that we expect good things to happen, this may actually constitute pretty treacherous advice amidst the mounting uncertainty. Because this bold interpretation of optimism – the expectation that life is supposed to feel good and that we will achieve anything we want, really is one of the greatest sources of anxiety, disappointment and frustration. After all, the word optimism by definition really just describes a mental attitude that reflects a belief or hope for a positive outcome. And it is precisely this belief that things might work out that keeps us motivated and gets us out of bed every morning to build the company behind Flow Lab, even though we are aware of the fact that 90% of new startups fail. But in order to not be paralyzed by uncertainty and fear of failure, simply believing in our success won’t cut it:

We have to hope for the best but expect the worst.

Mixing in a healthy dose of a strategic type of pessimism makes for a brand of “stoic optimism” that prepares us to persevere in tough times and accept the uncomfortable emotions that go along with it. And this is important, because only if we can free ourselves from the idea that we are entitled to positive experiences, can we “embrace the suck” and use these times of crisis as an opportunity to reconnect to our values and refocus on what’s really important: health, community and the present moment.

If you want to strengthen a mindset of determination and resilience that keeps you sane in these difficult times, go ahead listen to the Flow Session called “Embrace the Suck” in the training area ‘Drive’.

(Note: This Flow Session is only available in the English Version of our app. So if you haven’t done already, go to ‘Account’, click the settings icon in the upper right corner and change your preferred language to English)

✨ User Spotlight
Find out about the ambitious minds using Flow Lab along with you


Max Braun, Sporting Marksman

“My ambition is to win medals at European and World Championships and participate in the Olympic Games in 2024.”

It’s not everyday that someone who aims to make it to the Olympic Games uses your app. But here we are happy to tell you about Max who uses Flow Lab to improve his mental fitness! Read his interview in our magazine →

🎧 Flow on the Go
Our podcast recommendation for you to learn more about peak performance, self-improvement, and productivity during your commutes, at work or wherever you have your headphones plugged in.



You can’t have it all from the State of Mind Podcast.

Maybe you are thinking of using your additional free time during the coronavirus quarantine to start writing your first book. If so, you should give the third episode of State of Mind, by our good friends at Blinkist a listen. Niklas Jansen dives into the life and career of Ryan Holiday. He went from being the Head of Marketing at American Apparel to becoming a best selling author. And all that before his 32nd birthday. Enjoy!

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

🍭 Something worth your procrastination


This timeless keynote by British philosopher Alain de Botton wittily shines a light on the negative effects of a hustle culture and mindless optimism on our mental health and leaves the listener with a sense of relief and comfort that we can all use well in these times of uncertainty.


Watch it here →

“We must not react with injured surprise to bad things, these bad things are written into the contract of life.”