GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


October 28, 2014

Become Optimistic

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:56 am

Horse blindersIf you’ve read anything that I’ve written over the years, you know I think that positive thinking is positively putrid as a strategy. It just doesn’t work that well.

It’s a sexy idea that has worse odds than flipping a coin.

I know this sounds like heresy and, since it’s close to Halloween, you may want to burn me at the stake, but let me have my say before you light the match.

Thinking happens and then we label it. That’s how our mind works. We have a thought and the labeling process happens after the fact. Positive thinking is a process where we want to feed our mind thoughts from the outside in order to change our thinking. Thinking is an inside out process, not the other way around.

Positive thinking is like attempting to control the dialogue of a prerecorded TV show. Your thinking, like the dialogue, is just what shows up on the screen and you can only label it after it happens.

I will readily admit that positive thoughts feel better than negative thoughts, but you can’t change your thinking by force feeding yourself positive thoughts. You may come up with a positive affirmation like “I am healthy, wealthy and wise” and repeat it over and over again and each time you say it, it is offset by your subconscious conditioning which often counters with “You’re sick as a dog, poor as a church mouse and dumber than a stump.”

Just look at your track record with positive thinking. If you get a positive outcome, you give credit to the process. If you don’t, which is most of the time, you say something negatively inane like, “I didn’t think positively enough.”

Putting a St. Christopher’s medal in your car doesn’t make you a better driver and thinking positive doesn’t deliver positive outcomes.

So, what the solution? May I suggest optimism. It has a much better track record.

Optimism is a mindset worth conditioning.

Optimism allows you to notice and see past the blinders of negativism and opens your vision to a broader perspective. Optimism isn’t denying that negativism is there, it just considers it as another option. Positive thinking denies negativism and only gives you one option, one that rarely works.

Being optimistic isn’t wearing rose colored glasses; it’s recognizing all that’s out there. Negativism denies there’s anything out there past what its limited vision sees.

Optimism opens your eyes to the entire playing field and lets you see things that would have been missed if you didn’t remove the blinders. Positive thinking just limits your options to things that are unlikely to happen.

If you are going to develop a habit, I highly recommend that you develop one that will broaden you, not limit you. Develop the habit of optimism. It has two major benefits:

1. You’ll see more clearly.

2. Believe it or not, your natural thinking will become more positive as a result.

All the best,

John



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