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Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work- and What Does

  |   Authenticity

Positive Thinking is A Setup for Failure!

The majority of has have been taught to just think positive and we will be happy and successful. This message has been so ingrained in us that most of us have taken it for gospel truth. In the next series of blogs I will present to you that at a deeper level, the “Gospel of Positive Thinking” causes:

· Analysis Paralysis, or a frozen state in life

· Poorly thought out life decisions

· Financial instability

· Unsuccessful paths toward the next chapter of life

· Self-sabotage of one’s own plans

· Personal unhappiness

The “Gospel of Positive Thinking” is a message of negativity! This is not an attention getting phrase but is based on:


Personal Experience

Like many people who value success and self-improvement, I spent many years trying to practice positive thinking. Often after reading positive self-help books, I felt worse, since I agreed with what they were saying, yet I still did negative things. What was wrong with me? Also after attending self-help seminars, and listening to countless self-help tapes, I still had not achieved any fundamental changes in my personal life. I finally realized that trying to have an exclusive focus on the positive was the source of negativity in my life. I will share with you how this happened in future Platinum Years SM blogs.


Professional Experience

After years of experience in working with baby boomers I have found that an exclusive focus on the positive caused baby boomers business owners to be unable to think about leaving their companies, caused them to use a faulty way of thinking, and led them to make personal and business decisions that were doomed to fail. It also caused them to take unsuccessful approaches to transitioning into the next stage of their lives. The Platinum Years SM blog series will address these owners’ issues and how they impact you in the advisory business secession and exit planning communities.


Academic Studies

As a long time sales trainer with major medical corporations such as Johnson & Johnson and CR Bard, I knew how important positive thinking was for professional success, yet I also knew that positive thinking did not work. Finding an answer to this question was a major motivator for me to attend graduate school.

While doing graduate research, I read an in The Smithsonian Magazine in which the widow of Dale Carnegie stated that he could never finish the last chapter in his famous book How to Make Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie could not write about what to do when things go wrong.


What Does Work: A New Balanced Way of Thinking  

The great failure of positive thinking is that it is naïve; it presumes perfection, that there is no downside to any decision, no trade-off. Rather than only focusing on the positive, we need to take equal account for the negative aspects of our pursuits; every decision has trade-offs, and it is in our best interest to consider them in our endeavors. In this blog series you will not only learn why positive thinking does not work but also how a new balanced way of thinking is the thought process for business and personal transition success.


Transition Question:

Have you spent time trying to be positive in your life, yet still did negative things?


 Action Step:

This blog is from 7 Principles of Transcendence Handbook in the The Power of Authenticity: The Key to Optimal Living and Leadership Excellence.

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