I recently had a chance to interview David Essel, author of "Positive thinking will never change your life but this book will!"
Number one… What is the danger of assuming that positive thinking will make a big difference?
For many years, there have been teachers, books, weekend workshops and CD-R programs telling people that all they had to do was think positively for their life to radically change.
We've heard statements like "whatever you believe you can achieve…"… And "once you put your intention of positive thinking out into the universe, the universe must bring you what you desire".
What are these statements really saying? They're talking about an illusion. A fantasy.
The danger with putting so much power into the use of positive thinking, is that people will pull back on the effort needed to see life changes. Let's be honest, if you're going to think positively to attract $1 million, your positive thinking is not going to be doing the work… If it happens it's actually called a miracle. If you believe in something called the universe, and it supposed to respond to your every wish, this is like "Aladdin's lamp" . And if you know anyone who thought their way to losing large amounts of weight, or making large amounts of money, or any other massive goal with a thought, it's simply a miracle.
So the danger here? Is that people won't do the work. They're gonna sit back and believe these best-selling author's and teachers who say all you need to do is think a certain way to attract checks in the mail. It's nonsense.
To prove how ridiculous this really is, and I for one used to teach this nonsense so there's no one better person prepared to talk about the insanity of it than me, for 25 years I woke up in the morning with a positive affirmation of how I was "a child of God, happy, healthy and sober today."
And for 25 years I drank myself to sleep every night. But I woke up in the morning and said the same affirmation, which gave me that illusion, the fantastical belief that I was actually on my way to sobriety when I wasn't on my way to sobriety you at all. I was on my way to deeper alcoholism.
It wasn't until I busted my butt and did the hard work that I got sober. The rewards were amazing. But It had nothing to do with positive thinking. Positive thinking can keep you in a rut, if you think it's actually going to change your life on its own.
Number two. Is there a place for positive thinking? Oh my god yes! I love positive thinking! I'm one of the most positive people in the world. We know through scientific studies that when you have a positive affirmation, said with emotion, there's a cascade of chemicals that flow through the brain making you feel powerful, invincible, and guess what, positive!
So in our number one best-selling book on the myth of positive thinking, we encourage people to spend the first hour of every day immersing themselves in gratitude journals, affirmations, visualizations and more to get the brain going, the chemicals flowing so we can start our day off in a powerful position.
Number three. What needs to happen in addition to positive thinking to make dreams a reality?
Going back again to our number one best-selling book on the myth of positive thinking, we share over 100 stories in the book of people who do think positively, but they end up doing an immense amount of work to make their dreams a reality.
Something we have taught in my counseling and life coaching program for over 24 years now, is that if you want a big dream you've got a put out a big effort. You have to invest more time, money and effort into your dream to make it come true.
Here's a great story. Angela came to me 17 years ago flat broke. Hating her job. She had a high school education, working in a bank, and saw no chance for improvement. She had hoped and wished her life would change… But hoping and wishing won't do a damn thing if you're not working your butt off and investing in yourself.
So against her family wishes, and her friends advice, she signed up to work with me every day for 90 straight days! She called me at 4 AM her time, to do a session Monday through Friday, and then in the evening the homework I gave her took her two hours every night to complete!
And the end result? In 90 days she got a job at double her income! Her friends and family were blown away. She was shocked, until I reminded her, that she had worked her butt off for 90 straight days in a row without one day off to make her dream a reality.
And you can do the same thing, use positive thinking in the morning even 15 minutes is enough, but then go out and do what you'd rather not do. Hire a coach, counselor, personal trainer, financial advisor… Whatever it takes get someone to hold your feet to the fire, and you can move mountains.