I’m not sure how we got on the topic but, while trapped in the car for some long driving as we ran errands today, Hyperion and I got to talking about positive thinking sort of as an off-shoot of wishful thinking being related to quantum physics (which is for another post). Anyway, in kicking this topic around I began to crystallize some of my thoughts on it.
Most people have heard of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking. The basic premise is that if you feel good about yourself, good things will happen to you or come to you. This is also the basis behind The Secret by Rhoda Byrne where your positive thoughts are like magnets that cause good things to come to you. It’s also the basis for many of the books that instruct how to use your mind to concentrate on what you want and to have what you want come true.
But what I think is that by putting yourself into that place where you are concentrating on what you want, you begin to change yourself and your attitudes. From listening to some of the people who have read these books and dedicated themselves to following the various steps, there seem to be two types of outcomes. One is nothing much happens because they wish or think positively about what they want, but then they don’t do anything but wish or think.
However, the other group not only thinks positively, but they also begin to act in ways that cause the “good” thing/event to happen to them. They take a class in adult education, local technical school, junior college, or evening college courses, or go to the library and study up on what they’re hoping to gain — which is usually, better pay, a vacation, a promotion, or whatever. It’s the activities they are performing to aid them in gaining their goal that helps to change their attitude and gain them the abilities (concrete skills) that eventually gain them their positive outcome. It’s not just the positive thoughts beamed out in the universe; it’s the positive thoughts that are beamed inward that encourage the person to take their future into their own hands and make it better.
People don’t work in a vacuum. They are worked upon by those around them. If others don’t think much of a person, that person internalizes that and acts accordingly, believing they aren’t worth much. If the other inflates a person’s ego, they also have problems when their expectations and their skills don’t match. However, if by focusing on a goal and then working to actually bring expectation and skills into alignment, their goals are often achieved. Usually not in the manner expected, but in a manner that, in retrospect, actually is what was wanted or needed.
On the other hand, people who simply sit and wish the good to come to them and never do anything to gain that change in their lives are bound to be disappointed and always looking for the next book that might have the key that actually will work for them — as long as they don’t actually have to do more than think about it.
My grandmother used to say, “If wishes were horses even beggars could ride.” This was usually whenever, I complained about wanting something but wasn’t actually planning to do any of the work to earn it. Yes, you need positive thinking but you also need good old fashioned work to reach the goals you set for yourself.
What’s your take on this?
Hyperion here: I freely admit to being a total muggle; sometimes even Gayle despairs at my total disdain for the other-worldly. For all the above post, there’s a fair bit of romance in her soul. She may not depend on the magic to do job by itself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s none out there. She still has hope. But, as for me? “There’s no such thing as magic!” That’s just the way I’m wired. Well, there is one exception. I think Gayle is pretty magical … but then I’m a bit biased, and the matter is not open to scientific inquiry.
Tags: cognitive dissonance, Dream, Education, employment, perception