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Thread: The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking

  1. #21
    Post Human Post Array Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAMind View Post
    I do too. Not that I expect to fail but I take extra par of gloves and NCR blanket when hiking in the mountains in winter

    I sort of agree with that. Sometimes it works for me. I had some new ideas, never questioned if they gonna work. Later it turned out they worked great although odds were agianst me. However from tactical point of view it's important IMO to have a realistic appraoch when embarking on timeconsuming projects. You are able to plan better if you realistically asses your situation and all risks involved.
    Truth, it is important to figure out the best way to achieve results, to take the most effective approach. But I find that this has little to do with positivity or negativity. Positivity and negativity have a significant impact on the execution, though.

  2. #22
    Member Array JustAMind's Avatar
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    Execution and even starting a project. Problem with pessimistic approach is that often it is unrealistic just like wishful thinking. On some occasions it will prevent people from setting and achieving goals that are within their capabilities. Like you said that rocket will never leave the launch pad.

  3. #23


    I think it is healthy when you know how to juggle positive and negative outlooks to adapt to your circumstances. If you fixate solely on maintaining a positive outlook, then you hamstring yourself with nowhere to go but down.

    "Positive thinking", in this context, seems to mostly refer to future oriented fantasies. But what about the past and present? Isn't there value in developing gratitude for what you already possess? If you did, wouldn't you mitigate feelings of entitlement?

  4. #24
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    The most telling part of the article, for me, was this (the bolded part in particular):

    There’s no denying that many people have found comfort in Byrne’s ideas. Like religion, they offer an appealing, non-technical solution to life’s biggest problems while demanding nothing more of their adherents than faith. (Indeed, “The Secret” features verses from Matthew and Mark, promoting the idea that people receive in life what they seek in prayer.) But while many people give religion a pass because it claims to focus on questions that can’t be answered with science, the same is not true of success. Though Byrne presents her ideas without evidence, we can measure their worth with data.
    For quite some time, I've noticed what seem to me (an outsider to both frameworks) to be strong connections between the self-help/New Age stuff, and Christianity. From what I've come into contact with, these connections seem to exist despite the tendency for at least some self-help/New Age adherents to see their worldview as an alternative to Christianity.

    One other thing: The self-help/New Age framework gives an out when it comes to data verification, though. Basically if someone doesn't succeed using "positive thinking" the way Byrne et al says they should, they could easily be blamed for not having enough faith (not doing sufficient or qualitatively good enough positive thinking) to yield the goal. This would reinforce the framework even in light of actual data contradicting its claims.

  5. #25
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    I am damn lucky I have made it as far as I have with the amount of positive thinking I used to engage in. Thanks to my wonderful mothers brimming optimism (sarcasm), she passed it on to me as much as she could. Some of the decisions I have in the made were flat out stupid, and I got lucky it worked out. About 2 years ago when for the first time I realized that the whole "wishing something to be true" really does not work, is when I started to back off from it. I am happy to say I don't do it nearly as much anymore. I will still be an optimist at my core, but I have seriously learned how to be realistic, and I apply it to everything that I can. And man I feel so much better for it too.

    I'm really really shameful of all of the bullshit my mother lead me to believe, and how long I stuck with it. She got into the secret back in 2006 when it came out, and RAN with it... ugh.
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