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        The Power of Negative Thinking – 2. Is It Really Negative?

        December 31st, 2008 by Alexei Zoubov

        After reading my previous post on the same topic¬† (read here), I realized that I might look as a hopeless pessimist. I didn’t intend it to be that way. I actually consider myself an optimist.

        As I quoted somebody in the previous post, “A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action”.

        OK, just think about it a little.It follows that no matter what you do, things will turn out fine. Eat junk food, drink yourself to oblivion every day, never practice your saxophone, go out and hit the first person you meet in the face – you’ll have “a successful outcome of every situation and action”.

        The perfect example of positive thinking screwing up things on a global scale is George W. Bush’s ideology. Here is a quote from a recent article:

        One constant for Bush has been an optimistic, even rosy, economic outlook. Throughout much of past year, even as the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve began preparing for the worst behind closed doors, Bush and his aides trumpeted the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy.

        And that’s just in regards to economy. What about “we’ll be greeted as liberators” in Iraq? What about “Mission Acomplished”?

        You can say that I’m going too far into extremes – but this is a very extreme definition! It says “every action” should bring positive result, doesn’t it?

        The conclusion to make here is, that most categorical statements (mathematics and hard sciences excluded) are not categorical at all, they are pretty fuzzy, could be applied only within well understood and defined limits, and these limits are pretty fuzzy as well.

        Here is an attempt¬† at a “negative thinking” statement:

        “There are cases, when even a favorable situation and seemingly correct actions could lead to a negative outcome”.

        Forget it, it’s way too boring. Let’s just say that things can get screwed up no matter what you or anybody else does.

        And if you manage to remember it and accept it, you’ll feel good no matter what happens and adjust your actions.

        But… doesn’t it takes away the motivation to take actions and do the work to achieve a positive result? It could, if you are a strictly goal oriented and goal motivated person. If you feel , like I do, that the process is often as (or more) enjoyable that the result, that the road could be more beautiful than the destination, the motivation stays there no matter what.

        I’ve got way too serious in this post. It could be said that I didn’t get the outcome I anticipated out of my writing. But I definitely had fun doing it. Sorry if you didn’t have fun reading it. I’ll get it better next time!

        Posted in Ideas & Ideologies, Thoughts