The trap of Positive Thinking
24 Oct 2016
Positive thinking is certainly helpful and necessary for success but it hits a limit when people fall into the trap set by the seductive power of fantasy. At the end of the day positive thinking comes to naught if it is not followed by deliberate, intentional and, of course, positive actions. It is the actions that one takes that matter; one should harness their energy and move purposefully towards fulfillment of their wishes and desires. Fantasizing about the future achievement of goals may help create a short-term motivational boost but in the long run one would feel worse if all they do is just think and not take any concrete action.
Optimism and Positive thinking or maybe Fantasizing tends to cause people to underestimate risk. Take for example, an entrepreneur who might be so fired up with optimism that she underestimates the amount of time and money(capital) necessary to get her products from her mind as a business idea to the factory for production up until the shop floor and to her customers. An aspiring piano player, high on positive thinking, can underestimate the number of hours of practice and learning that it will take to become a concert pianist, it might even entail hiring a costly private tutor to help with the learning. Intoxicated by optimism a father may underestimate the cost of his child’s university fees and therefore fail to plan accordingly. He might even forget to support the child through the lower grades to ensure they make the right grades for college or university.
Coupled with optimism one should adopt realism and the concept of risk management for personal decision making as these will enable a more strategic approach to achieving goals and to minimise the potential impact of pitfalls that might emerge along the way.
The sunny side of life is certainly endearing to our imagination but it is imperative to adopt just enough skepticism to allow yourself to offset unrealistic fantasies and perform a reality check on your aspirations. This should not result in one applying brakes on their desires but should allow one to move more intelligently and strategically making sure the necessary steps are taken and safeguards developed where necessary. Just by being more strategic and purposeful you can find a way around challenges, it might even give you enough wisdom to foresee problems and take corrective action well in advance. Challenges and pitfalls have no right to catch you by surprise and they won’t if you are strategically positioned. It is of course true that some things will happen that you did not plan for but with an effective strategy one can always navigate the challenges with dexterity. Strategy alone can save you the pain of failure or the risk of a worst case scenario.
I encourage you to pay attention to the Straulshom who started the sustainable pencil company, Sprout, in 2013. He took lessons from his previous business failures and among other things, put all agreements down on paper and made contingency plans before going all out into the business. Today, the company sells more than 450,000 pencils in more than 60 countries including Denmark, US and other European countries.
While optimism and positive thinking are necessary, they should not be solely relied on for success. No matter how optimistic you are, you should never test the depth of the river using both feet. One should have sense enough to be realistic, see potential pitfalls before they happen and plan for them. It more like making sure the foundation is laid and strong before building the house, we should always get the basics right.
At the Well of Inspiration we empower individuals and businesses to see themselves as risk managers for their own lives and business ventures as this attribute will help them in making strategic personal and business decisions that improve their chances of success. If failure does knock on the door, a strategically positioned person or business stands a better chance of successfully overcoming any setbacks. We believe that you don’t have to fall into the well to know its depth.
Until next time..LIVE WITH PASSION
My name is Wellington and I seek to share strategies for successful living particularly strategies for mitigating the various risks that we face in life, strategies that would smoothen our journey through life and increase our chances of success. I hope you enjoy this article. Feel free to share with as many of your friends as possible.