• Mark Mittlesteadt

"The Power of Positive Thinking"...or...

"Why one's negative thinking doesn't make them more of a realist."

I am often confronted by people who dislike self-help books, and cynics who think the power of positive thinking is hogwash. They call themselves “realists”.

Well, I’m a realist. In fact, despite my feeling spiritually aware and believing in the power of positive thinking, I would bet that I’m more of a realist than people who think negatively about life think I am.

They probably also think that self-help book authors and spiritual gurus are full of crap. They also might think of “spiritual awareness” and “positive thinking” as nothing more than denial of how things really are. They might consider themselves a “realist” because they think the world is full of crappy people doing really crappy things, and life is just this one big pile of crap they have to navigate through, where they avoid the piles of it, and find some pleasure wherever they can, even though they think it’s in short supply.

I totally get where they are coming from. For them, life sucks and because they think it sucks, the best they can do is just deal with all the crap as it daily comes at them, causing them to “deal with it.” That doesn’t make them a “realist”. That makes them a defeatist. They’ve given up. They have given up on their potential and they’ve given up on humanity. All they see is negativity. Except where they choose not to.

“Perception is reality”. That statement is true, because life all around us is just an illusion. We see the world through the perception of our programming. Those ideas that were planted in our young minds about what life is all about and how we should see it and deal with it lives with us our entire lives. That is, unless and until we choose to stop buying into it.

Have you ever wanted a new car and you obsess over this new car you want? You think about buying it all the time. You go to dealerships, you go online and check out reviews. You test drive the kind of car you want. Perhaps you even go ahead and buy it. Isn’t it amazing that throughout this entire process, you just happen to (as if it were mere coincidence) see that same model car everywhere you go? It stands out among all the other cars you weren’t thinking about. You see examples of it everywhere you go. It is not a coincidence that you do. You have focused your attention on that kind of car so much, that you have trained your mind to see it. That model car will stand out to you precisely because you have such strong feelings and emotions attached to it, and your thoughts have been so wrapped up in it, that examples of it just “magically” start appearing everywhere.

Well, guess what? That’s just how everything in life is. You notice that which you put your attention towards. It isn’t that there are suddenly more cars out there like the one you desire. You just now notice them more. Because everything in life works in the same way, when one focuses their attention on all the negative crap in life, life just “magically” manifests more negative crap in their life, until eventually they see more negative examples of life than positive ones.

I’m not inclined to focus on negativity because it serves no purpose in my life. It only detracts from the quality of my life. Because I am more aware of how this actually works, I’ve trained myself to purposely focus, with my greatest intentions, on everything that is positive. I even start my day with reading only positive, inspiring books, writing positive thoughts in my journals, saying positive affirmations about life in general and my life in particular. I meditate within this positive energy. And guess how my day plays out? My life is filled with an overabundance of positive energy and I see far more examples of positive people and situations than negative. Not only do I perceive more positive things showing up in my life, even the negative things are minimal, or are minimized because I only view negative things as a means to gain clarity and by contrast to help me understand just how positive the world really is. That is my perception of life, because I actually choose to see life that way. I don’t simply “react” to things outside my control. I just notice things outside my control and let my emotional attachment to them go.

I’m not a dreamer any more than negative, cynical “realists” are. They (unknowingly) conjure up a nightmarish world of crap and then react to it, calling themselves a “realist” because their perception of the world is how they see the world presented to them. But it only presents itself to them that way because it’s what they focus on. If that works for them, and it serves their purpose, then they should keep doing it, although I really don't know any kind of worthwhile purpose that dwells in such negativity. I find it serves no purpose other than dragging me down and causing a lot of unwanted problems and situations, as well as bringing more of the same kind of people into my life. Misery loves company.

I’m a firm believer in the “power of positive thinking”, while they are believers in the power of negative thinking, but they shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking they are more a realist than I am. Their perception of reality is simply a negative one and mine is positive. That makes all the difference in how life plays out for each of us.

You see, this is how people with negative thinking can drag you down and subvert your best intentions. Not only should you think positive, you should try to avoid these so-called realists as much as possible because their negativity is like a black hole, a very powerful life sucking energy that will prevent you from creating the life you want.

Positive/Negative. Half full or Half empty?

17 views0 comments