Isn’t this rich?
Those of us who practice positive thinking often face great skepticism, if not downright ridicule. How sweet it is, then, to see business guru Seth Godin state that “All the evidence I’ve seen shows that positive thinking and confidence improves performance. In anything.”
Just in case you missed it, that’s IN ANYTHING.
Then he asks the key question: “Why do smart people engage in negative thinking? ”
I’ve often wondered the same. It seems to me that if you choose to look at the positive side of any given situation, you are energized by aligning yourself with new possibilities. You feel good, you notice wonderful things that are happening around you, life appears to be exciting and hopeful.
Godin’s take on the subject is that “negative thinking feels good:”
In its own way, we believe that negative thinking works. Negative thinking feels realistic, or soothes our pain, or eases our embarrassment. Negative thinking protects us and lowers expectations.
In many ways, negative thinking is a lot more fun than positive thinking. So we do it.
I have to admit this surprised me: negative thinking is fun? I suppose so, if your mindset is fixated on failure and humiliation. It may be more tolerable than those situations, but how does that kind of fun compare to the exhilaration of learning new skills and acquiring new knowledge, or the elation that comes from putting them into practice in your life and work, or the satisfaction of achieving something that was once only a notation on your dream list?
Godin hammers his argument further home with:
If positive thinking was easy, we’d do it all the time. Compounding this difficulty is our belief that the easy thing (negative thinking) is actually appropriate, it actually works for us. The data is irrelevant. We’re the exception, so we say.
Positive thinking is hard. Worth it, though.
Positive thinking is only hard if you have been consistently practicing negative thinking for a long time. It can be turned around.
Your performance depends on it.