The Power of Positive ThinkingI’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 AvatarHyperion 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.

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Learning PosterIn our current technologically driven society, education is the key to getting and keeping a good job. It’s not just enough to have a high school diploma for many jobs; a college education is required and often a masters or a doctorate as well. Even those who manage a good job with just their high school diploma find that they must actively keep up with the changes in their field in order to stay current with the changes technological innovations bring to all segments of the economy and job market.

So image my surprise when I saw this article On the Net: College too expensive? Try YouTube on Physorg.com. From the article:

More than 100 schools have partnered with YouTube to make an official channel, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Yale and the first university to join YouTube: UC Berkeley.

There are promotional videos like campus tours, but the more interesting content is straight from the classroom or lecture hall. Many schools have posted videos of guest lecturers, introductory classes and even a full semester’s course.

You can check out what’s available on the http://www.youtube.com/edu.

I was already aware that MIT had put some of their course material on line and had bookmarked the site. If you have the time check out MIT Open Courseware.

However, the article lists some other sites that are also available for people to check out. Personally, the only site that I repeated go back to because it’s got interesting talks about current issues and each is only about an hour long, is Ted Talks. It’s a nice break in my day and I can usually knit or spin yarn while watching and listening. (I hate doing only one thing at a time and it helps me to concentrate when I can keep my hands buys while my ears are listening.)

So, if you also enjoy learning new information because every bit of knowledge is a gem that will help you look at the world, life, and the people around you in new ways — check out these options to investigate areas of interest at no cost to yourself except for your time and effort. Knowledge once learned can never be taken away from you and you never know when what you learn today will be of vital importance to you.

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View of Windmills on a Wind Energy FarmI’ve known about the problems of wind energy and the current power grid for quite a while.  I found this article on The Energy Challenge — Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid Limits in the New York Times (you’ll need to login to read it). To clearly state the problem. In part:

The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads.

“We need an interstate transmission superhighway system,” said Suedeen G. Kelly, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

While the United States today gets barely 1 percent of its electricity from wind turbines, many experts are starting to think that figure could hit 20 percent.

However, to achieve that 20% figure, the United States must upgrade its power grid. Over the past several years, more and more people have come to realize that our national power grid is just not up to snuff. In fact it may not even be up to a sniffle. One of the problems with wind generation is that it isn’t generated evenly throughout the day. Wind changes direction, gets stronger, lighter, and sometimes dies completely. Scientist have been working on teaming the turbines with generators that smooth out the power that is generated. However, while that solves one problem it still doesn’t deal with the fact that you still have to get the power from where it is generated to where it will be used effectively or efficiently — and that means upgrading the grid.

Part of Obama’s recovery plan, and a source of new jobs, was to upgrade the nation’s power grid. Many people complain that it isn’t necessary because we all have power, don’t we? Well, no — not all of the citizens of this country have power. But, yes most do. The problem is that for years people have been ignoring the fact that coal, oil, and carbon based power generation is relying on finite resources — folks, we’re going to run out of these raw materials. We need to switch to greener renewable energy resources — wind, solar, whatever… To do this we need to have the technological grid that can handle what we can throw at it to power our homes, factories, and tools. Upgrading the national power grid is a necessary first step.

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Horns Rev Off-shore Wind Farm
Wind farms are nothing new but putting them off-shore is. Cape Wind on Nantucket Sound will be the first off-shore wind farm in America.

According to an article in Tech Fragments, Cape Wind just got the official go ahead to proceed with their project. The project will have 130 turbines in the waters of Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod. From the article:

When completed, Cape Wind will be capable of supplying up to 420 megawatts of electricity, potentially offsetting as much as a million tons of carbon emissions and saving more than 100 million gallons of oil every year. But the environment wont be the sole beneficiary of Cape Wind. It will likely be a boon to out of work Massachusetts residents, as well, given that as many as 1,000 green jobs could be brought to the Bay State in addition to a significant supply of clean, renewable energy.

Just to put it in perspective that 420 megawatts of electricity would be enough to meet the needs of 420,000 homes. And unlike in other areas of the country this area is supplied by power stations that burn oil and natural gas rather than coal. So when this project is up to speed it will help offset Massachusetts’ reliance on petroleum for power.

However, the key issue is that not only will this supply power — clean power — and reduce our dependence on oil, it’s also going to produce jobs. Many times people forget that alternative energy also means alternative jobs and in these economic times jobs are important. Yes, some of the old jobs may disappear but many of the skills necessary on them can be applicable to the new jobs. Thus there is the possibility of no loss of jobs when switching to alternative power and maybe even a net gain (some new jobs will be created).

The resistance is often fear of change. Change is going to happen anyway whether we want it to or not. Things can not continue as they are — the earth is running out of oil. That’s a fact. As we deplete these resources it will become harder and harder to get the fuel we need and eventually it will gone. Not just too expensive to buy but not available, gone, all used up, nothing left. It may not happen in our lifetimes, we’ll just see prices going up and up to buy this ever shrinking resource.

The sooner we switch to clean, non-petroleum/non-carbon based, alternative energies the better for us, for our children, for our grandchildren, and oh, yes for the country. Projects such as this wind farm are a start, but we need to be doing more to move us from our dependence on oil. This is a step in the right direction.

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