In recent years the power of positive thinking has been relegated to some mystic or magical solution to all needs in a person’s life. They say if you just think positive about things then good things will happen. It’s almost like a scientifically proven formula that promises one thing and actually delivers something else. I want to encourage you and help you see that positive thinking isn’t the answer so many believe it to be.
First, positive thinking is theoretically a state of mind that is a reflection of a person's fundamental philosophy towards life. I'm sure you’ve had the chance to spend time with those who are always negative about everything. Everything they post on social media is negative. Everything they speak about is negative. Everything they think about is negative. These people generally attract other negative people. They feed off each other until they are involved in a codependent relationship built on negative thoughts and feelings about life. By the way, I just love hanging around those kinds of people! They are so encouraging and helpful in every way (I assume you can hear the sarcasm)! People who look at life as a gift see the value of making an everyday difference in the lives of others by investing what they know into who they know. It is critical that people look at themselves as valuable so that they can add value to others. Positive thinking people continue to invest in themselves. I want to encourage you to continue being a lifelong learner. Keep investing and building your own knowledge and experience so that you can remain on the top of your game. Remain invested!
Second, positive thinking is not inherently bad, but when people place their hope in positive thinking they come often end up drawing the short straw and wondering why. Thinking positively is not a means to an end, but the end itself. A person cannot attain great things by using the tool of positive thinking. I know this will upset some who believe if you think it you can achieve it. That philosophy just is not true. Too often, people have big hopes and dreams and think positively about them. When their dreams eventually end differently in reality than they did in their created plans, their positive thinking quickly turns negative and is reactionary towards their present circumstances. One way to remain positive in the middle of difficult circumstances is to remain focused on the goal. No one ever scores a touchdown without first understanding where the goal line is located. No one ever hits a home run without first understanding where the fence is located. No one ever hits a three-point shot without first understanding where the basketball goal is located. Do you understand? Positive thinking is thinking about the end game. The end game is the goal people set for themselves. If they ever take their eye off the goal, they will never be fully satisfied with the results of their pursuit. Remain focused!
Third, positive thinking apart from a diligent pursuit is only a dream that will always be a dream. This is different from remaining focused. People can focus on the goal, but if they fail to develop the diligence to work hard and achieve their goals, then they will always achieve less than they could have achieved otherwise. Working hard is absolutely necessary to achieve your goals. I don’t think I've ever hear someone say, “I really like hanging and working around him/her because they work so slowly, haphazardly, inconsistently, and without passion.” There are generally no “get rich quick” opportunities out there. What do I say to people who find it difficult to remain diligent in the middle of disappointment and a lack of results? I tell them to never give up. People who give up are the ones who lose hope in diligence.
What Now? Answer the questions...
- Are you currently investing in yourself and others? If so, how? If not, why?
- Are you remaining focused on your goals? If not, what will you do to change?
- Are you diligent in your pursuits? What keeps you from diligently seeking your goals?
- If you’ve given up, get up! Never quit! Restart, refocus, and remain diligent until you achieve your goals and you will absolutely remain positive!
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Author: Tommy Spotts, DMin, MDiv, MEd