There’s a lot of talk about positive and negative thinking, and why just thinking positively does not change our lives. When we first step out onto the road of changing our lives by changing the way we think we are aware that shitty things are still going to happen to us, no matter if we are thinking positively or not.
What we also have to be aware of is that thinking negatively will only exacerbate our problems and add to them. When this happens our problems seem to multiply many times over and we say to ourselves things like:
“I was born unlucky..”
“It always happens to me…”
“Why do I always get the raw deal…”
“Good things never happen to me…”
So you’ve had all these bad things happen to you in the space of a few days: your washing machine’s flooded the kitchen and it’s now not working, your car needs repaired, the boiler has broken down, the hoover has gone bust, your partner is losing his job and the bank want to speak to you about mortgage payments. And then you meet a happy guy like me saying “never mind, every cloud has a silver lining” – Swift punch toward my face ensues. Has all of the above happened because you weren’t thinking positively: of course it hasn’t. However, neither has it happened to you because you’re an unlucky person, or because these things always happen to you – they don’t, that is called irrational thinking.
Why thinking positively helps
This is where positive thinking comes into it’s own. If you are thinking within a positive frame of mind you will be able to deal with all the problems I described above. You won’t get morose and start feeling sorry for yourself and look for the next disaster to happen, you will deal with each problem in turn until everything has been sorted out, knowing that nothing much else can go wrong. You wouldn’t be expected to skip around the kitchen singing ‘happy days are here again’, but you will hopefully think ‘It’s only a setback and I can deal with this.’
Think of positive thinking like a camp fire, the more wood you add to the fire the less cold you will be. If you let the fire run out you will be freezing cold and that cup of coffee you were looking forward to before getting into your tent will not happen. Positive thinking keeps the negative thoughts at bay: you can’t think two thoughts at the same time so if you are thinking positively it is keeping a negative thought out. So don’t think that positive thinking alone will change your life rather it will keep the motivational fires burning and keep you taking action toward the things you want in life.