I understand that a lot of folks have a problem with how negative the broadcast news has become. I guess it ruins their day.

You know what ruins my day? Waking up, clicking on one of my favorite business news sites, and seeing a story entitled, “Why Leaders Must Broadcast Happiness.”

Even worse is that the article is more or less a puff piece for a new book called Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change, by former CBS news anchor Michelle Gielan.

And get this. The book is apparently selling like hotcakes.

Now I’m really depressed.

The positive psychology fad is out of control. Not only is that annoying the hell out of me, it’s so wrong it isn’t funny. It’s not in any way predictive of any kind of career or business success. On the contrary, it can actually have quite the opposite effect.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun with this. The article points to a test on the book’s website called “The Success Scale.” It says, “the scale tests for the three greatest predictors of success at work, as well as how influential you are in fueling success in others.”

OK, I thought. I’ll bite. So I took the test. The results say I’m an “Extreme Work Pessimist” who rarely is engaged or performs well at work. Fascinating.

The results also say I’m a “Resistant Supporter” who doesn’t get along with co-workers or supervisors and an “Engagement Master” who does get along with co-workers and supervisors. Good luck with that paradox.

Lastly, they say I’m a “Neutralist” with a “quiet or detached approach that neither adds nor detracts” from the success of others.

Not only did the test fail, it somehow managed to fail in three different ways:

First, it got some things right about me, but those same things indicate that my career should have been a flop. Well that’s not right. Just look at my bio. That’s about the only thing I’m really good at.

Second, it got some things completely wrong about me. “Quiet.” “Detached.” Anyone who has known or worked with me would be rolling on the floor right about now. I doubt if you could find anyone on planet earth who is less quiet and detached.

Third, it directly and unmistakably contradicted itself. I apparently get along extremely well and don’t get along at all with coworkers and supervisors. Wait, I know. I’m schizophrenic. That must be it.

This sort of reminds me of an emotional intelligence test I once took. So easy to game it isn’t funny. I scored really high, which proves that I’m either really in touch with my emotions or a raging psychopath. I don’t know; your guess is as good as mine.

Let’s be serious for a moment. I’ve done quite a bit of research on positive psychology and emotional intelligence for my columns and my book. Some aspects are interesting while others are based on highly questionable self-reported tests or surveys. On the whole, it averages out to something along the lines of popular pseudoscience.

Look, I have no interest in analyzing a book I didn’t read based on its website, its Amazon page, or an article. But let me just say this. Being a utopian optimist is just as bad for your career or business as being a pessimistic negatron. Just as annoying, too.

I’m a realist. And yes, I know what some people say about realists. Realists are what pessimists call themselves. Whatever. It works for me. And of the hundreds, maybe thousands of successful executives and business leaders I’ve known over the decades, I don’t know a single one that subscribes to this sort of positive psychology nonsense.

My advice?

Stay away from fads, popular memes, and pseudoscientific nonsense.

Listen. Observe. Experience. Question the status quo, common dogma, and cultural norms. Trust your gut. Do the right thing. Make good choices and smart decisions. That’s predictive of business success.

One more thing. If your mood is heavily influenced by the broadcast news, as this book suggests, maybe you should just quit watching the news. Or see a shrink.