Huffington Post Editor-at-Large Russell Bishop has an interesting take on the positive thinking debate in his post “Why Positive Thinking Just Doesn’t Work.” To get to the article, click here. I have excerpted from it below.


Six weeks ago, I started a series on aspiring to an inspired life with an article suggesting there may be more to life than your ‘to do’ list. Last week, I posed the question, “Are You Doomed By Your Circumstances?”

This one article seems to have pinched a nerve in a number of people. Actually, several nerves. In fact, over the past year or so, these pinched nerves have erupted in various forms, revealing a pattern of complaint. Some of the complaints come from obviously caring and well intentioned people, some from people in apparently difficult or even desperate conditions, and some from the usual group who seem bent on shooting down anything positive or uplifting.

A sampling of common complaints:

• Positive thinking doesn’t work
• Some circumstances are beyond repair
• Not everyone can succeed in life or reach the top

Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

Surprisingly I couldn’t agree more – positive thinking doesn’t work! Unless, of course, it does.

Positive thinking alone is unlikely to change much of anything in the physical world. You can sit there and hope, pray, project, imagine, fantasize, visualize, make up great affirmations and just about any other kind of positive thinking idea you can imagine, and not much will change – at least not without actually getting involved, without taking some form of action towards what you want more of in your life.

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