Positive thinking During my childhood days, I was a dummy and had no friends. I used to spend my time reading books. The first book that I ever read was on “positive thinking.” I still remember the precise date: September 22 (when the fall equinox occurs). I was 11 years old at the time. Since then, I have read piles of books by different authors like Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Robert Kiyosaki, Harry Lorayne, Zig Ziglar, and John C. Maxwell. I awake every morning with devout thanks for my books. They have not only broadened my mental horizon but also made me adopt a have-no-stress attitude. Even though positive thinking is not a science and its physical functioning may not be seen, it works for all people. Be a believer in its power. It gives as comfortable a feeling as gives a feather mattress. Some people have misunderstood the real meaning of positivethinking. I cannot stand to hear a person saying that positivism is in her blood, andso she can do “anything.” You do not have to wrack your brain too much to figureout how silly this statement is. Let me give you an example. Aubrianna was born inPlymouth, United Kingdom. Her weight is 250 pounds (She is neurotic about herweight—she weighs herself three times a day), and she longs to become aballerina. Do you think this hefty Aubrianna could pirouette many times during aperformance? First of all, it is beyond imagination for a fat person to become aballet dancer, and the possibility of her to whirl on one foot or on the points of thetoes is inconceivable. Based on the above instance, you can extrapolate thatpositive thinking will not enable you to do “anything at all.” But positive thinkingwill help you do “everything” better than negative thinking will. Unrealistic optimism A person whose mind is steeped in unrealistic optimism believes that thingswill turn out well even when the evidence argues the opposite. This kind ofpositive thinking borders on arrogance or overconfidence, and is as good as“fooling oneself.” Unrealistic optimism and poor decisions are bedfellows. Examine the following cases of unrealistic optimism:
(1) Elijah ran his car into a bus. He wrecked his car, and three people are nowsuing him. His life is going to hell in a handbasket. Yet, instead of taking steps toimprove his conduct, he is resting at a private estate beside Lake Geneva, listeningto flamenco music and telling recycled old jokes to his family.(2) Valeria, 15, told her mother a fib that she was going to her friend’s house tostudy with a group of friends. Her mother did not veto the trip. But the story wasValeria’s pretext to go somewhere else. She drove her old jalopy to her flaxen-haired, oligarch boyfriend’s house. She stood on a disinfectant mat on arrival at hishouse. Taking her into his bedroom, he poured a thimbleful of whisky into herglass and later had unsafe sex with her. Valeria thinks that she will not getpregnant because of one such incident. Nexus between life and chess I started playing chess when I was about 13 years old. (At that time, mybrother was still in diapers. The first solid food my mother gave him was pureedcarrots.) I work my mojo on the chessboard. I believe that life is like a game ofchess. You make a move with a selected piece. Once you lift your finger, youcannot take back that move, else it is called cheating. In your own life situations,you might wish you could start everything over again, but it is not possible. Whatis done is done. The words you said are said. The action you took is taken. Timecannot be reversed. You can make a series of bad moves and still remain in thegame, but you have put yourself at a disadvantage and may find yourselfscrambling to survive. Nobody other than yourself can take responsibility of yourlife. For this significant reason, you should make positive thinking an integratedfeature of your personality. This is a one-size-fits-all approach to life. Objective assessment of a situationIt was mid-morning, and the temperature was already above 100 degreesFahrenheit. Tiara, wearing a dress of gold sequins that spectacularly set off herdark skin, was speeding in her car. All the while, she was thinking about herfuddy-duddy father who did not have a cell phone, a PC, or even a washing
machine. (On the health front, which was worrisome, her father had a respiratoryproblem and was living in an apartment that looked onto a shipping terminal, an oildepot, and a multilane highway.) Tiara was so lost in her thoughts that she was notaware of the diesel truck honking its horn behind her. Suddenly, her cell phonerang. She slowed down her car to talk. But the moment she did this, the speedingtruck hit her car. She felt like the ground had been ripped out from underneath her.Luckily, she survived the accident, but not before she was left with a broken arm, abroken elbow, and shoulder damage. She was treated in a Tennessee hospital. Hereis how she now views this situation positively: (1) This accident is a reminder for me to be more careful next time. (2) I learned the true value of life. (3) It has provided me an opportunity to eventually learn how to file an insurance claim. (4) It is an experience that I can boast about to my hubby (sporting a Rasputin beard) and 10-year-old daughter (with a distinctive ponytail and curly, blonde ringlets). (5) It is a tailor-made opportunity for my kitty party friends to kid about my driving skills. Terrible things happen alike to both optimistic and pessimistic types of people. Mind you, positive thinkers are constructive; they extract the positives from crisis situations and do themselves a world of good. Kvetching or complaining is an offshoot of a negative attitude Why do people complain so much? It is not because of the enormity of their problems but rather the smallness of their spirit. Complaining is worse than doing nothing, for it digs the rut one is in deeper and deeper. Each time a person complains, it becomes increasingly difficult to climb out of the ditch he has created. Complaining is the negation of happiness. It is impossible to complain and be happy at the same time. So, do not waste your time with complaints that
serve no purpose. Our complaints are like arrows shot up into the air at no target: with no aim, they only fall back down upon our own heads and destroy us. A piece of advice: You cannot stop the rain by complaining, but you can keep dry by wearing a raincoat. Therefore, if it is raining, change your attire, change your attitude, and change the world. Characteristics of positive thinkers (1) Positive thinkers are innovative In this world of cut-throat competition, people are least bothered aboutdoing things in their own way. My inclination is toward “legality in writing.”Many spurious authors are busy hijacking others’ ideas and planting them intotheir own writings. “Plagiarism” is a Trojan Horse for effective, creative writing.The same is happening in the music world too. Over a decade or so, remix hasemerged as an easy and chic way of creating music. Fast beats are added to oldmelodies, and new songs are produced in no time. I call it packing “old wine in anew bottle.” The appearance of skimpily clad girls in the videos (a cheapmarketing strategy) helps sales, but only to a certain extent. Every Tom, Dick, andHarry needs to be reminded that to become successful on the professional circuit,innovation is very much needed. Characteristics of an innovative person are as following: (1) An innovative person says, “I’ll do things in my own good way.” (2) He believes in doing something special that has not been done before, i.e., an unparalleled approach is his buzzword. (3) He is constantly thinking about his work, and improvement is his supreme quality. (4) He takes refuge in experimentation (5) He is a live wire.
(2) Positive thinkers grab an opportunity with both hands Garrett (on the cusp of middle age) had one eternal question on his mind: Will I ever manage to slake my desire to act in Hollywood? Mind you, he had all the qualities necessary for an actor, but somehow things were not clicking at that time. So he waited patiently. One day, he was sitting in a café when, lo and behold, a director approached him with a script. After meticulously going through it, Garrett said, “Yes.” (It was a movie with a large cast, and he would be playing second fiddle to the leading actor. His role was limited to 8 scenes in the entire movie.) After the director finalized the casting, it was time for “lights, camera, and action.” Twenty days into the shoot, everything was going well when disaster struck. The lead actor was severely injured while doing a stunt scene and was advised to take four months of complete bed rest. The director seethed with anger, dropped the injured actor from his movie, and offered the lead role to Garrett. Garrett was jubilant (he turned three somersaults on the lawn), and he displayed his full acting potential. Eventually, the filmmaking process was completed, and the film was ready for screening in movie theaters. A few days after its release, the movie generated whopping sums of money. It was a runaway hit. Owing to this, Garrett was now awash in movie offers from different directors. His face was splashed on billboards and the sides of buses and cabs. To take his popularity to the next level, an ice cream manufacturing company molded his muscular torso into an ice-cream. (3) Positive thinkers love challenges For almost 2000 years, athletes put in high-voltage efforts to run amile in less than four minutes, but they did not succeed. So they gave up andtreated this goal as unachievable. Roger Banister, however, had a different outlook on this challenge. Heran a mile in less than four minutes, accomplishing a groundbreaking achievementon May 6, 1954. This achievement galvanized other runners. “If Roger Banister, anormal human being like us, can do it, why can’t we?” was the thought of otherrunners. “Eureka!” they shouted, after covering the same distance (running a mile)in less than four minutes. Banister became a trendsetter because he challenged the status quo. Inthe media, he attracted many column inches. Remember, a real champion has
unshakable self-confidence by virtue of which he can overcome any challenge. Heis a supreme force by himself. (4) Positive thinkers build a success team The appurtenances of success—money and fame—lead to a greatfeeling. Everybody dreams about success. But do you know that achieving all thesethings and more is not entirely possible on your own? (Every self-made man ismade by many helping hands.) You need to have the company of ambitious andsuccess-hungry people. Such kinds of associations pave the way for you to learnnew, good points from them. Benefiting from their experiences, you begin to thinklike a winner, feel like a winner, and eventually turn out to be a winner. Aldo, a red-hot positive thinker, has built a “success team” thatencompasses red-hot positive thinkers, namely, Leland, Coleman, Talon, Alonso,Broderick, Maximo, Sullivan, and Jarvis. Aldo has huge admiration for theirinfinite knowledge. He considers them as “precious jewels.” These people accepthim as he is and yet challenge him to be the best that he can be. They also do a lotto counteract his stresses of life. The mind is also like a garden Remington had not been in touch with his friend, Sidney, for severalmonths. So he interacted with Sidney through video teleconferencing. During theconversation, Remington suggested that they should meet at their favoriterestaurant, in the old charcoal cellar at El Mollete. Sidney, without thinking twice,said, “Yes.” The place was a 2-hour drive from Remington’s house, and a 2.5-hourdrive from Sidney’s house. Both of them arrived at nearly the same time. Theygreeted each other with a bear hug and went inside the restaurant. They orderedGorgonzola croquettes, artichokes, and scallops, and, of course, “huevos rotos.”After finishing their food, Sidney said, “Let us go to my house. I will show yousomething.” “As you say,” was the reply from Remington. Sidney droveRemington in his car to his house. On reaching his house after a 3-hour drive,Sidney took Remington to his backyard. Remington heaped praise on Sidney forhis two acres of beautiful gardens intersected by gravel paths. (Sidney used hisgardens to grow everyday vegetables and herbs like garlic, onions, leeks,
watercress, and dill.) The gardens included four fountains and a beautiful waterfall.Peacocks roamed the grounds. Sidney said, “Do you know, our mind is also like agarden that should be properly taken care of? Just as a garden requires regular careand constant pruning, our mind needs routine, careful nurturing. Otherwise, withthe passing of time, weeds of negative thoughts crowd out good grass of positivethoughts.” Increase your life span by feeling young It takes no ghost from the grave to tell us that age is an attitude of the mind.It is certainly true that when you think youthful, you feel youthful. Pablo is a famous Australian cricket commentator. (He was raised in atraditional Australian aboriginal culture.) His job is his raison d’être. He enjoys acushion of success, health, and happiness. On Pablo’s seventy-fifth birthday, ayoung reporter (interviewing him in an air-conditioned, snug hotel room)commented, “Sir, I take off my hat to your boundless energy. But that was severalyears ago. Now don’t you think that you have reached the saturation point in yourlife and that it is time to lead a life of retirement?” Pablo quickly replied, “I cannotever imagine myself sitting idle for a moment. I romance with my work. It givesme a great feeling. I still feel that I have the zing of a 20-something youth. I preferhaving no expiration date.”