Positive Thinking Is Useless By Itself - page 2

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

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According to San (2006), positive thinking can be described as the practice of embracing the affirmative in our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, our reactions and our speech. Positive thinkers are usually brimming with... Read More


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    Quote from Tragically Hip
    I wonder who came up with that saying. It's not in the bible. In fact, the bible counsels the opposite, something to the effect, "Ask and ye shall receive."
    The Bible also says "Faith without action is dead" James 2:17
    God is not a vending machine that one can just stick a prayer in, and receive whatever one prayed for. Heck if that were the case, I would have a big house, a fancy car and my dream job a long time ago. I believe that God gives us the abilities and the strength to do things for ourselves when the things we are doing are according to His will.
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    "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." — Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

    I think James 2:17 was referring to doing good works, mentioned clearly in Matthew in the parable of Sheep and Goats, rather than in asking for things for yourself. The Christian God is actually, in effect, a vending machine, and the coins are faith and prayer. Or a magic genie, if you prefer.

    "Heck if that were the case, I would have a big house, a fancy car and my dream job a long time ago."

    They say that God doesn't always grant our wishes.

    "I believe that God gives us the abilities and the strength to do things for ourselves..."

    Some handicapped people may beg to differ, but people will believe what they believe. Have you ever encountered a person suffering from locked-in syndrome?

    "...when the things we are doing are according to His will."

    And now we are back to blaming the victim for his own failure. Instead of the new age person saying, "It's your fault; you weren't thing positive thoughts," it's the religious person saying, "It's your fault; you weren't doing things according to His will."
    Not_A_Hat_Person and NoonieRN like this.
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    Disclaimer: I readily admit that I am spiritual and believe in the power of prayer.

    However, prayer is also another form of positive thinking because the person doing the praying is engaged in positive thought and asking for affirmations.

    Many years ago, I recall one student mentioning that she fell behind in her car payments and that her vehicle would be repossessed any day now. Graduation was three months away, and she would fail the nursing program if she had no mode of transportation to and from school and clinical rotations.

    People were actually making statements such as, "Think positive!" "Pray on it!"

    Positive thinking is the catalyst to positive action. However, positive thinking by itself is not enough to get things done. No amount of positive thoughts will magically pay off this student's car. For that to happen, she would have had to take concrete action (borrow money, get a second job, etc.).
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    my gut reaction was, "nooooo! positive thinking is amazing!" but then i read the article. i have to say that i really agree, but i think starting with positive thinking is a start.

    i guess i also think of positive thinking as a concept dealing with perceptions of situations rather than bringing actions. i use it to pump up my own mood or change my point of view rather than bring about significant change in my life. i'm more likely to think, "i'm going to have a great day today" (my own attitude) than "i'll have enough money for bills at the end of the month" (a black and white reality). i hope that makes sense. but anyway, i think that positive thinking utilized in this way is extremely useful because it improves your mood, which improves your motivation, and also is likely to draw more people to you, thus strengthening your support system.

    if you've had enough
    of all your tryin'
    just give up
    the state of mind you're in
    if you want to be somebody else,
    if you're tired of fighting battles with yourself
    if you want to be somebody else
    change your mind
    - "change your mind" by sister hazel
    cherryames1949 likes this.
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    There's a book called "Feeling Good" and I got one of the best pieces of advice from it which is unusual for a self help book.

    Motivation follows action not the other way round. You actually have to start doing something before you'll feel the motivation to do it. If you sit around waiting to be motivated nothing will happen. You have to endure that tiny bit of discomfort at first but then you'll get that motivation your lacking.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and sunnybabe like this.
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    Quote from decembergrad2011
    . I'm more likely to think, "I'm going to have a great day today" (my own attitude)
    Well that's a little more than positive thinking. It's putting you in a position to do something about making your day great. The "I'm going to" part vs a generic happy "today is going to be a great day"

    I used to be Little Miss Sunshine and things worked out fine which reinforced my "positive thinking" but I never achieved anything because in my mind everything would be fine either way.
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    Quote from Tragically Hip

    Some handicapped people may beg to differ, but people will believe what they believe. Have you ever encountered a person suffering from locked-in syndrome?
    One of the few times I've cried after a shift ( heck I'm tearing up now which is going to ruin my tough as nails attitude)

    Spiritually all I ask of who ever may be up there looking after us is that they look after the world as a whole and don't worry about me personally.

    The most ridiculous praise I've ever hear was a "Thank you Jesus" when the person in question found out I had a garage and didn't have to park my car on the street. I HOPE he has much better things to do that work out my parking situation for me.
    GrnTea and Tragically Hip like this.
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    Quote from tothepointeLVN
    There's a book called "Feeling Good" and I got one of the best pieces of advice from it which is unusual for a self help book.

    Motivation follows action not the other way round. You actually have to start doing something before you'll feel the motivation to do it. If you sit around waiting to be motivated nothing will happen. You have to endure that tiny bit of discomfort at first but then you'll get that motivation your lacking.
    Some behavioral researchers think that can-do positive attitude can lead to inaction by giving the person a psychological sense of accomplishment, as if he's accomplished something concrete, even before he acts. The pleasure is awarded prematurely.
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    Quote from Tragically Hip

    Some handicapped people may beg to differ, but people will believe what they believe.
    This reminds me of Glee, (for those who are fans). Coach Sylvester prayed very hard for her sister to "get better" when they were kids (she had downs syndrome). She never got better, so she lost faith.

    So what do you tell people who don't believe in the power of prayer? Or God?

    I too, feel that too many people rely solely on good thoughts. They want it so bad, so it'll happen, right? I thank reality tv and the new generation of parenting for this. It used to be "you can co anything, as long as you try". Now it's just "you can be anything you want to be"; there's no condition on it anymore. If you want it, it's yours.
    Hygiene Queen and Tragically Hip like this.
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    *shrug* I think there is a difference between seeing the bright, yet realistic, side of things versus living in a daydream. I may subscribe to a different method of positive thinking, but I don't understand it to be someone really thinking they can wish something into existence. When I have led positive thinking groups with patients, I emphasize them increasing the amount of truthful positive statements/thoughts. I think there's also a difference between putting a positive spin on your day or focusing on your positive attributes, and wishing for $500, a car, or to graduate if you're failing.

    I'm perfectly okay with being an optimistic person. It's brought some great things to me, and allowed me to deal alright with the hardships. I probably could have still accomplished what I have being pessimistic, but I'm not sure I could have dealt with the hardships. The bad times are when positive thinking has been the most helpful for me.
    cherryames1949 and dee78 like this.


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