Positive Psychology and the theory of exuding optimism to see positive outcomes are drastically different. The idea of optimistic thinking to magically produce fruit is often something that we tend to think is the way to go about manifesting our goals. However, this notion is pretty much an example of the magical thinking we just spoke of in our last post. Thinking and doing are two separate ball-games. Positive thinking does enhance the way we ‘do’ what is needed, but is thinking an automatic way to manifest?

Positive thinking does definitely make us feel a sense of well-being through the course of our lives. Theorists like Alice Isen have shown that we tend to have a higher capacity to use the resources we possess with respect to intellect and social acumen if we feel positive emotions. However, is positivity all we need to achieve what we want?

Whether it be studying for an exam, preparing for an interview, or giving a presentation to a client at work, being positive about it can help, but we need to make sure we put in the efforts in order to feel the effect that positive thinking has on our productivity. Simply thinking positively and not manifesting what you foresee through this positive thinking is only doing half the job! Positivity may be unrequitedly favorable to feel, but to do is far more powerful in the grand scheme of things.

Image: The Dude’s Paper

Positive thinking has to be realistic and practical in order to be effective, but realistic thinking is something that totally trumps this notion. When one thinks realistically, they look at things in  amore pragmatic manner, and weigh out the possible outcomes to see and gauge what they re in store for. One aspect of realistic thinking that really differentiates it from simply optimism is that it really makes us think rationally.

One cannot conjure up hypothetical scenarios without actually reviewing whether they could happen. One cannot, for example, be hopeful about learning how to fly, or acquire superhuman skills, as this desire isn’t something rooted in reality. Practicality is another quality that solidifies the possibility to manifest our thoughts into action. If we cannot ‘do’ to manifest our goals because the option is simply inaccessible, it can render our thoughts impractical.

Image: Motivation Gems

Realistic thinking is thus something we can use in order to see whether we can bring fruition to the positive thoughts we have towards certain ends. If you have $50, and want to buy something for a $100, you can’t simply say,’I’m putting it out there that I want another $50, it’ll happen!’ What one can do in order to manifest this is maybe look into ways to get that $50 to buy what they’d like. Simply wishing and yearning for something doesn’t increase the likelihood for it to happen.

To reap the fruit, one must toil and make sure that a good base is set to harvest it. On the way to success, positivity acts as the ‘binding agent’ that pulls us together, and makes us see our goals to the end.

 

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.