Positive Thinking is A Setup for Failure!

The majority of us have been taught to just “think positive,” and we will be happy and successful. This message has been so ingrained in us that most of us have taken it for gospel truth. In the next series of blogs, I will present to you that at a deeper level, the “Gospel of Positive Thinking” causes:

  • Analysis Paralysis, or a frozen state in life
  • Poorly thought-out life decisions
  • Financial instability
  • Unsuccessful paths toward the next chapter of life
  • Self-sabotage of one’s own plans
  • Personal unhappiness

The “Gospel of Positive Thinking” is the thought-process of the False Self and is a message of negativity! This is not an attention-getting phrase, but is based on:

Personal Experience

Like many people who value success and self-improvement, I spent years trying to practice positive thinking. Often after reading positive self-help books, I felt worse, since I agreed with what they were saying, yet I still did negative things. I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” Also, after attending self-help seminars, and listening to countless self-help tapes, I still had not achieved any fundamental changes in my personal life. I finally realized that trying to have an exclusive focus on the positive was the source of negativity in my life. I will share with you how this happened in future Wisdom In Transitions blogs.

Professional Experience

I have spent much of the past 20 years working with baby boomers I have found that an exclusive focus on the positive, caused baby boomer business owners to be unable to think about leaving their companies, caused them to use a faulty way of thinking, and led them to make personal and business decisions that were doomed to fail. It also caused them to take unsuccessful approaches to transitioning into the next stage of their lives. By seeing owners’ experiences, other baby boomers can learn and apply these lessons to their lives. In addition, the series will show business advisors in the succession planning and exit planning communities, how they will be impacted and how to help their clients.

Academic Studies

As a long-time sales trainer with major medical corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and CR Bard, I knew how important positive thinking was for professional success, yet I also knew that positive thinking did not work. Finding an answer to this question was a major motivator for me to attend graduate school.

While doing graduate research, I read an article in The Smithsonian Magazine in which the widow of Dale Carnegie stated that he could never finish the last chapter in his famous book How to Make Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie could not write about what to do when things go wrong.

What Does Work: A New Balanced Way of Thinking

The great failure of positive thinking is that it is naïve; it presumes perfection, that there is no downside to any decision, no trade-off. Rather than only focusing on the positive, we need to take equal account for the negative aspects of our pursuits; every decision has trade-offs, and it is in our best interest to consider them in our endeavors. In this blog series, you will learn why positive thinking does not work and about the thought-process of the True Self -a balanced way of thinking.

Transition Question:

Have you spent time trying to be positive in your life, yet still did negative things?

This  blog material is part of the online classes: Transforming Your Life Through The Power of Transcendence


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