Rethinking Positive Thinking

How many times have you been feeling down or unsure about something in your life and you’ve been told to just “think positively?” I bet somewhere along the line someone has offered you a copy of The Secret and told you that if you just envision it, it will come. How often has this worked for you? I try to keep a positive mindset as often as I can, if for no other reason than it just feels better than thinking negatively. But, whether or not it makes things happen? Unclear.

This is why I’m excited to read a book my boss recently recommended to me called Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen.

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This book challenges the notion that positive thinking is all it takes and argues, instead, that it’s envisioning our obstacles that can lead to our desired outcomes. This practice is called “mental contrasting” and it combines focusing on our dreams with visualizing obstacles that stand in our way. In doing this, we are able to address our fears, make concrete plans, and get motivated to take action.

To make things simpler and more memorable, Oettingen introduces the concept of WOOP – Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan – and gives advice on how to apply this four-step method in your daily life. For you tech saavy kids, you can download the WOOP app to help keep you on track.

I plan to start this book next week. If you plan to read as well, or if you’ve already read it, leave your comments below! Also feel free to share anything you’re reading that inspires you. Until next time!



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