Why positive thinking is overrated

I [heart] Mike Mahler. He’s really good at telling you the stuff you need to hear, but don’t want to. And he does it with tough love. One of the most important lessons I ever learned was that sometimes, you just have to suck it up. Nobody wants to change a baby’s diaper or clean out the eavestroughs but it has to be done. Everyone is looking for “motivation” and “inspiration” to strike. That’s great if it does. But much of life isn’t like that. Before every workout or piece of brocooli, most of us don’t think “Hooray!” (Although I really like vegetables so I kind of am thinking that.) Ideally we don’t overthink at all. We just do. Say what you want about Nike, but “Just do it” was a genius piece of marketing.

Why positive thinking is overrated

Take an effective plan, put it into action, have the tenacity to see it through, and it will work in spite of your positive, negative, or indifferent attitude. When it comes to making dramatic, positive change in your life, a positive attitude is the least of your concerns, and in fact, may actually inhibit you in accepting the brutal self-knowledge required to break free of inertia and move forward…

A stubborn positive attitude may be the enabling factor in continuing to slog on with a life you don’t event want.  Sometimes, it’s hitting rock bottom that spurs forward action. No, you don’t have to lose all your worldly possessions and end up on the street but you do have to feel low-down and angry enough with yourself for accepting your misappropriated life.  When you are completely fed up and nauseated at the idea of remaining as you have been, you are finally ready to initiate change and create a new life.

Creation is dramatic and powerful, not passive and subtle.  Creation arises from destruction and only by destroying your wrongfully lived life can you finally embrace the life you’ve always wanted.  This is what it means to be reincarnated as a new person. There are no second chances when you’re keeping one foot in your old life; your anger and extreme dissatisfaction are the flames that burn the bridges to your past.  Dramatic change isn’t always pretty, nor does it always come from a pretty, positive place.