Do you buy into the Power of Positive Thinking?

There are a few things that I consistently hold onto as a core part of what I believe and who I am.

I believe that professionalism is critical to long term success in pretty much anything that you do.

I believe in science, the scientific process and that the future will be driven in a large part by scientific and technological advancements (good and bad).

I believe in moderation in all things – including moderation.

I believe in the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch…wait that’s what Crash Davis believes in…  😉

What I’m not as sure about is the power of positive thinking – not the concept as much as the semi-mystical stuff that seems to go along with it (back to that whole science thing).

I don’t buy into most of the explanations / hype around the Law of Attraction and The Secret, that if you wish really hard, then your wish will come true.  It’s a fun thing to talk about but I actually find it a bit disturbing and potentially dangerous or damaging if people are putting too much hope into it.

Having said all that, I do buy into having a positive approach to life.  Scott Ginsberg had a great post on this today – Corny doesn’t mean ineffective.  Here’s the point that resonated with me:

Yes, all that positive attitude stuff is TOTALLY corny.
But that doesn?t mean it doesn?t work.
I say:
Believe in whatever makes you more focused.
Believe in whatever makes you more motivated.
Believe in whatever makes you more productive.

A colleague of mine, Jerry Smith – from Kansas City and an overall great guy shared a Gary Player Quote that sums it up nicely:

When we get into the negative we tend to filter things accordingly. Use the concept of luck positively – remember what Gary Player the famous golfer says about luck: “The more I practice, the luckier I get”

All of this reminded me of the famous quote from Henry Ford:

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right.”

So I don’t buy into the metaphysical powers of positive thinking, but I do absolutely buy into the benefits of a positive outlook.  (I’m not always successful at putting it into play, but I’m fully on board).

Simply said, if you want to succeed, and don’t we all, then you must have a positive belief that you can succeed.

Here are some ideas that can help move you to a more positive outlook.

  1. Find and hang out with positive people.  It’s human nature to mirror those people that are around you – make a conscious choice to identify people that are optimistic and can do and then spend time with them.
  2. Stop hanging out with negative people.  I know it’s kind of a repeat of point number 1, but it’s important (probably even more important than finding positive people).  I imagine most people have had the unfortunate experience of working with a ‘Debbie Downer’ type of person – it may be one of the most draining things you can do.  Do whatever you must to get away from those people.
  3. Find the good in things.  This one can be difficult, especially when you’re having a bad day.  I’m not saying be a Pollyanna and ignore the real world, just look for the silver lining (or make one if you have to).
  4. Make sure you retreat into books, movies – escapes that you really enjoy at least a few times a week.
  5. Adopt a pet – a lot of studies have shown that the unconditional love of a dog or a cat has a host of medical and stress related benefits.  We got our last dog, Pongo from Wayside Waifs which is a really good organization – highly recommended.  I don’t think a fish falls into the same category in terms of inspiration, but I guess you could give it a try…
  6. Laugh – as often as you can…!

I’m sure there are lot more great ideas on ways to stay positive – feel free to share them here.

Can you imagine what a more positive outlook would have on your business?  How about your personal life, or the people around you?  How about your kids?

Have a great day!

Shawn Kinkade   www.aspirekc.com

3 thoughts on “Do you buy into the Power of Positive Thinking?”

  1. Sundi says:

    Here is an extra thought to consider along this topic. Do you think that “positive thinking” is what individuals hide behind when they are trying to be politically correct? I’m a christian and I know a few. I know some who also like to be PC. They talk in some type of a code that to a christian’s ears translates to christianity but could be translated as positive thinking to a non-believer. I get the same feeling when I hear someone say “whatever higher power you believe in.” The way to make that PC is say, “Thanks to the power of positive thinking!”

    Just something to chew on!

    Make it a great day!

    Sundi D. Hayes
    Chief Virtual Officer
    My Office Zilla

  2. Sundi,

    Thanks for the thought – there are definitely some condescending viewpoints out there that sound positive, but my experience is that you usually pick up on them pretty quickly.

    That would probably fall into the category of people NOT to hang out with…!

    Shawn

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