Positive thinking makes us unhappy?

Have you seen The Secret? The movie, which tells us about benefits of positive thinking.(  If you force your mind to ignore negative thoughts and focus only on positive ones, you will get so many rewards from the Universe, that you will stop feeling unhappy.  EVER! ) I was hooked – and oh man, you have to imagine how positive. Positively crazy – I could say.

“Happy! I’m Happy!, I’m Happy” – I was repeating, almost non-stop, and was trying to force all the negativity from my mind. But I did not succeed. I think I even had more negative thoughts, because of constantly pushing them out. You know the circle I’m trying not to think but thinking about it more? My mum (she is a natural genius. With IQ 150 or smth., I will tell you in the next post what it was to grow up with a mum like this.), after seeing this film, was not so crazily impressed as I was (no surprise here) She said, that a human mind is made from different emotions and ignoring one part will make matters only worse. The Balance is important (Duh, sounds reasonable – she is a doctor and a genius).

Basically while so called gurus live in a paradise all others still waiting when all the positivism will give them millions. Start lecturing, duh..

Later on I saw the documentary on BBC, about those who make money from lecturing about positive thinking, and those who believe in it and accumulate lots of unnecessary costs, because of the courses and seminars they are attending. Can’t find a link to the documentary, so If anyone saw it, please refer it to me. That made me think, that all “positive thinking” works positively only for those who are lecturing, not for those who are listening. Like a religion, no?

It failed

Today I read a great article explaining why positive thinking makes us even more in despair. Why?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/15/happiness-is-being-a-loser-burkeman?newsfeed=true (It is long, I know – but I really recommend, if you are like me in doubt about positivism.)

He tells us about the consumerism graveyard in Michigan. It was started as a place, where every product should have been kept, but because of such high failure rates, it became a museum of failures. According to an author 90% of products fail, so such a rate shows that believing in positive thinking and in avoiding failures does not make sense.

“It’s almost certainly the only place on the planet where you’ll find Clairol’s A Touch of Yogurt shampoo alongside Gillette’s equally unpopular For Oily Hair Only, a few feet from a now-empty bottle of Pepsi AM Breakfast Cola (born 1989; died 1990). The museum is home to discontinued brands of caffeinated beer; to TV dinners branded with the logo of the toothpaste manufacturer Colgate; to self-heating soup cans that had a regrettable tendency to explode in customers’ faces; and to packets of breath mints that had to be withdrawn from sale because they looked like the tiny packages of crack cocaine dispensed by America’s street drug dealers”

“Most products fail.” According to some estimates, the failure rate is as high as 90%.”

This is hilarious fail. Isn’t it?

So if the products fail, people fail too. Would being an over optimistic will make you successful or just plain stupid?  I don’t think that it is possible to live the life without failures. No…Not for me at least or anyone I know. And If I will keep being over optimistic about my mistakes, that finally, when I would have no more energy to turn the blind eye on myself, …I’ll just explode. The author, of the article, and of the book ” The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” Oliver Burkeman(Really wanna read this one – and defo share what I learn with you, when I finally analyse my laziness and will get a job.) thinks that that’s what is waiting for positive thoughts followers.

As not to write for too long – one last thing from the article I overly enjoyed – it is how you see failures and how they affect you.

“The work of the Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck suggests that our experiences of failure are influenced overwhelmingly by the beliefs we hold about the nature of talent and ability – and that we can, perhaps quite straightforwardly, nudge ourselves towards a better outlook. Each of us can be placed somewhere on a continuum, Dweck argues, depending on our “implicit view” – or unspoken attitude – about what talent is and where it comes from. Those with a “fixed theory” assume that ability is innate; those with an “incremental theory” believe that it evolves through challenge and hard work. If you’re the kind of person who strives mightily to avoid the experience of failure, it’s likely that you reside near the “fixed” end of Dweck’s continuum. Fixed-theory people approach challenges as occasions on which they are called upon to demonstrate their innate abilities, and so they find failure especially horrifying: to them, it’s a sign that they tried to show how good they are, but didn’t measure up. The classic example is the young sports star encouraged to think of himself as a “natural” – but who then fails to put in sufficient practice to realise his potential. If talent is innate, his unspoken reasoning goes, then why bother?

Incremental-theory people are different. Because they think of abilities as emerging through tackling challenges, the experience of failure has a completely different meaning for them: it’s evidence that they are stretching themselves to their current limits. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t fail. The relevant analogy here is with weight training: muscles grow by being pushed to the limits of their current capacity, where fibres tear and reheal. Among weightlifters, “training to failure” isn’t an admission of defeat – it’s a strategy.”

Ha, so basically embracing yourselves, your failures and not running away from them as they would not exist – hmmm…, sounds more reasonable rather than just repeating mantra “I’m positive, I believe in myself etc”, or I’m being overly pessimistic? How do you think? Are you positivism fan or analytical thinking fan?

Information used – http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jun/15/happiness-is-being-a-loser-burkeman?newsfeed=true, all images are linked with their homesite, if anyone offended – I’m sorry. I did not mean that.


About sleepingowls

I'm a recent graduate blogging to kill boredom and have some fun doing it. Sharing interesting articles, movies, books, ideas, have some glimpse on music and have a discussion about all this with you. Cheers! https://sleepingowls.wordpress.com/

3 responses to “Positive thinking makes us unhappy?

  1. sicksouls

    I too have been praising the idea of the secret long before the book/movie came out. I have studied metaphysics and spirituality for 18 years now. I highly recommend reading holographic universe by micheal talbot. It is a bit Bio for the first 2 chapters but if you can push through that it is an amazing read. It helps with really understanding the potential of our mind, however metaphysical therefore hypothetical. I still believe in positive thinking and projecting ideas, yet I have learned that the action no matter how small is worth a million thoughts, sounds simple right:)

    • Yeah, actions are everything, isn’t it? Will try that book, thanks for recommendation. I would like to absorb that full potention somehow – but sometimes all the laziness stand in between me and perfect me, lol would be great to somehow not to feel lazy. Ever again.

  2. A lot of food for thought here. Personally, I am an optimist and I’m not sure if it ‘makes things happen’ for me, but striving to be positive seems to make life richer and the good parts extra enjoyable.

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