Career Growth, Trending Discussions

The Problem with Positive Thinking

Ever read the book “The SECRET”? It was probably one of the biggest self-help books ever published. A HUGE success. (19 million copies sold, translated into 49 languages). The basic premise of these types of self-help books is that like attracts like.

If you think positively, you’ll attract positivity to your life.

One of the problems with these types of books and messages is the promotion of false hope. BUT the biggest issue I have with the “Secret” is that it never mentions WORK.

I know lots of people who are ill or poor or working in careers they hate. But they can’t just wish it away. You can’t just think positively and hope that things will work out.

I never understood the power of these types of books because they’re not telling you the truth!  IF you want a better life, a different life, a different career, or you want to live in a better neighborhood, you NEED TO WORK. And work harder and longer than you thought possible.

There is no amount of positive thinking nonsense that will get you a different life if you don’t work.

If you want to get into graduate school, become a lawyer, doctor, engineer, teacher, veterinarian, business owner and developer, guess what? You gotta’ work!

Yes, I believe in thinking positively. I don’t want negatively in my life (See my previous posts about negativity). But, you need to combine positive thinking with unimaginable levels of action, determination and persistence to become successful. (Unless you just want to be average, in that case, go read “The Secret” and tell me how that works out for you).

One of the main premises of these types of books is that your thoughts create your actions, and whatever you give the most attention to (positive or negative) tends to be what you find in your life. BUT, what about work??

I tell my students all the time that they need to think like winners, like superstars, & they need to believe they are worthy and capable of achieving success and fulfilling their potential. BUT, I then immediately follow that statement up with a long discussion about combining positive thinking with a direct action plan. You need to create action in your life and stop living in your mind, blissfully thinking about positive thoughts, without ever working hard at creating and then evaluating action so that your life is more positive.

TIPS: Next time you catch yourself wishing things were different, daydreaming about winning the lottery, STOP and ask yourself: what action have I taken today to further my life? What quantifiable and measurable action have I taken to get me further to reaching my potential.

Success doesn’t happen to you.

Success will not drop into your life after you’ve sent enough positive thoughts into the universe. You create your success through your work ethic. Now get to work!