Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Power of Positive Thinking or Sheer Luck... You Make the Call!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the power of positive thinking lately. I have had scads of people constantly lecturing me about it for quite a while now. But it seems in the last few weeks I’ve been bombarded.

Is it a sign?

I know it’s hard for you all to believe, but I have been a life long member of the Skeptics Club, the Cynics of America, the Sarcasm Society, and the Snarky Retort Masters. I’m Irish; we are cursed with the negativity gene. Well hell, if your people had lived with centuries of political and religious oppression, you might be a little pessimistic yourself. Did you ever read “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt? Ok, case closed then. I’m not excusing it, I’m just saying it’s hard to change when it has become a way of life for myself and all I’ve ever known, as well as for generations of my family.

I mean, I know it can’t hurt, to be more positive. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll be less inclined to be whiney and bitchy, and honestly people don’t really enjoy that. I know, big surprise. Also positive attracts positive. I think I will be more inclined to meet happy, positive, successful people, which in turn will make me more happy, positive, and successful. You are what you surround yourself with, right? Well, you are also supposed to be what you eat, which I guess would make me a giant bowl of broccoli, but that’s another topic for another time…

However, as I delve deeper into this positive thinking thing, I find there are more concepts that are involved. I have people tell me that it is absolutely necessary to visualize things and ask for what you want. It sounds like good things will only come to people who buy into this “enlightenment”. But is that really true? Haven’t you ever had a blessing come to you in a time of despair? When you were down in the dumps and didn’t think things would ever turn around, did you ever get what you needed? Were you ever confused and something fell in your lap? Maybe that dream job? That dream man or woman? A cure for an ailment?

Let’s talk about relationships for a minute. I am really curious, have all of you only ever gotten into a relationship when you were in a clear, positive thinking state of enlightenment and visualized what you wanted? How many of you met a great person while you were dating someone else? How many of you met someone when you were reeling over someone else? How many of you may have been on a miserable breakup with someone and you were crying constantly over and they finally came back? I personally know a guy who met a woman while going through a really crappy divorce, and 15 years later they are still together and had 5 kids together. You tell me…

I just have trouble thinking that good things only come to you when your positive thought planets are aligned. I do feel things happen when they are supposed to or perhaps just out of sheer happenstance. But I don’t know if I buy into this, it only happens when you visualize and think positively. I do know a woman that has seemed to have willed things to go her way, but then… how much of that is hindsight or revisionist history? I don’t mean to be a skeptic, like I said I do think positive thought is good, I’m just not sure that certain things ONLY happen when and if you achieve and internal nirvana. And that has nothing to do with Kurt Cobain; if it did that would be a disaster.

So, I’d really like to hear your feedback. Have you ever achieved something great without being in a great place first? I’m eager to hear your thoughts…


  1. I feel that thinking positively helps but sometimes you can get that blessing when you are down and out. I love blind sided blessings, they are the best!

  2. perception of your situation is the key to the choices you see available, the choices you see available are the only ones you can act on, the ones you act on influence the choices you see available, and so on... yes, positive thinking, makes a big difference. detachment of hard preconceived notions opens up a world of possibilities...i suppose.

  3. I think this recent writing is another great side of you. (I followed you here from My Space.) I am kind of writing my way through some similar stuff - being Irish AND Italian AND once a Catholic and all - with not nearly one eighth of the succinctness and grace you have here, but in answer to your question I think good is going to come regardless of the state you're in. I just think you'll recognize it better when more positive and happy.

    Keep on shining.

  4. Hi,

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  5. I happen to think that we create through what we think, what we pull in. Seems accurate in my life: If I am in a pissy mood nothing much goes right. If I am in a great mood, it seems to create more of the same. Just my imagination? Perhaps.............perhaps not. Great blog. Write more.