What Positive Thinking Isn’t…
Many people mistake Positive Thinking for some kind of construction that suggests everything is fine, even when it isn’t. It’s as if telling yourself that everything will turn out well, when it’s more likely that the the brown stuff issuing from the fan, at a rate of knots, will very likely swamp you.
That kind of self-delusion has nothing to do with thinking positively. That’s waving the flag of Wishful Thinking.
Thinking positively is about facing a problem, assessing the possible damage it can cause, and then figuring out, 1) what might be done about it, 2) how it might be done, and 3) getting on with it.
This kind of response can bring about anything from an effective limit to potential damage, to a complete turnaround of fortune, where the quality of response can be measured by an outcome of outstanding success.
But the entire process is based on reality. There is no dreamy, wishful thinking, no evasion.
That’s the value of taking action.
The first thing it does is stem the tide of incipient panic and confusion. And that’s often enough to prevent being overwhelmed. Previously unseen solutions come into the realm of possibility. Even when the solution is some dim flicker at the very far end of a long and winding tunnel, the possibility is there; the mind is thinking in terms of solution, not problem.
That very realization, brought with courage and persistence, is often enough to free the mind and let it search for an answer, which can then be the start of a chain reaction.
One tiny step can suggest the direction of the next one, Which can reveal the one after that, and step by tiny step, small triumphs begin to accumulate. They all begin to flow in a direction, one after the other, incessantly, till they create a steady, continuous stride, purposeful, determined, decided.
But the kernel of the process is the sometimes hard, often unpalateable, decision to act.
Till then, nothing, absolutely nothing, happens.
So, the difference between positively thinking about our lives, and wistfully dreaming our lives away, is not so much what’s happening to us, but what we’re prepared to do about it.