Theories of the human mind pertaining to motivation and an impetus towards success have captivated me for some time. As some of you may know, I have devoted a great deal of effort to itemizing successful people and delving into their psyche. I want to know what separates successful people from those who stagnantly lurch in complacency. Are motivation and drive innate forces or are they learned behaviors resulting from years of proper parenting and an exposure to particular environmental stressors? That, my friends, is the million dollar question.
In an earlier analysis I discussed the disparity between want and need; the premise showing that successful people need success, whereas the rest simply want it. The next characteristic that remains a constant for all successful individuals is an inclination towards action. This is where I have an issue with a common societal theme – ‘positive thinking.’
Anyone who has even briefly investigated bettering their lives can attest to the fact that perhaps the most commonly preached advice concerns positive thinking. We are taught to always be optimists and consider the glass half full. Putting ourselves in such a mental disposition will allow us to scaffold a mindset conducive to living a happy life. If positive thinking is such a widely recognized theme that can lead to euphoric perception of self, why on Earth would I have any sort of negativity towards it? I have NO issues with positive thinking at surface value. I think it is a wonderful technique that can help bring about success if it’s looked at as an integral supplement. It needs, however, to be just that: a supplement. We can not allow positive thinking to be the cornerstone of our path to success; otherwise the path will be very short traveled.
I can sit at this computer and think as positively as my mind is capable of. I can hope and yearn for my paperwork to be finished, for my arms to start growing, and for my Jeep to wash itself. I can think positively and tell myself I WILL get more money in the bank. Will any of these things happen? They may, but only if they are coupled with positive action. Positive thinking without positive action would be analogous to me trying to satiate myself by having a bowl and spoon but no food. I can think that I will become less hungry, but unless I have the fortitude to get off my lazy butt and go get some food then I will be left twiddling my thumbs with an empty bowl and a useless spoon. Don’t be an optimist. Be a realist. Don’t be a positive thinker. Be a positive doer. Don’t be left with a useless spoon.