Well the moment I heard this topic, I almost burped “Come on! That can’t be a question! How can positive thinking work against you?”. Well it turns out, I did give it a second thought or rather the idea of book by Oliver Burkeman – “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking”. Now what is it about positive thinking that can work against us? Well here are a few thoughts that might sound reasonable
1) Neglecting the problems
By focussing too much on the positive, we tend to neglect, avoid the problems consciously, try to be in a way that it doesn’t affect us, it doesn’t make a difference to us. Thus instead of solving the problem, we play innocent – “Ignorance is bliss”, right?
2) There is no fear to drive us
We have always talked about positive thinking and how it helps us surge ahead. But fear is a very powerful emotion as well, it tells us as to what all the outcomes could be, what the challenges would be. It gives us a signal as to what all we should avoid and asks us to act on it. The moment we tend to avoid fear, we might actually end up neglecting some primary aspects of life
3) Too much of it makes you lose focus on the goal
Well perhaps too much of positive thinking gets us into denial saying that nothing can happen. We tend to neglect the signals around us, tend to be happy in our own worlds assuming that things are going to happen in favour of us. But truth is they won’t, there will be circumstances when things will go against the plan.
4) There is a worst case scenario
Just cos we choose not to see something doesn’t necessarily mean it is not there. It very much is existent, it is present there and it can certainly hurt us. The question is how we deal with it, not avoid it.
Here is a 2 min video which talks about why negative thinking is important
I do agree with the power of negative thinking. But I would certainly argue that the word positive thinking is misinterpreted. We are not trying to look away from the negatives of the world, they are very much there, we agree, we acknowledge but we find ways to make the best of the situation and make it work in our favour. That I believe is real thinking. Positive or not is just a word or set of words we choose to you, the truth being that there is something more powerful than all of it. That is the truth and all we are trying to do is how best we can make it work in our way. The rest are just words!
Here is a link to the book :The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking It might open up a new set of ideas altogether ======================================================================