1
   

Power of Positive Thinking - where is the line?

 
 
DrDick
 
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2011 08:24 pm
I'm watching a film on Netflix about the power of positive thinking, specifically the law of attraction. I do believe that a person that is positive will benefit as positive thoughts have a much higher likelihood of resulting in positive behaviors leading to the potential for positive outcomes. However, the film is going way beyond my beliefs, supporting the concept that one may achieve anything through thought.

The majority of the film discusses thinking for material goods like sports cars, checks in the mail, or houses resulting in the acquisition of those items. Or, thinking about curing an illness results in the illness going away. Now I'm not just a bit skeptical, I will go so far as to state the film is potentially more damaging than supportive of the actual benefits of positive thought.

My question, where is the line, what are the limits to the power of positive thought? For sake of discussion, world peace, a cure for cancer, or immortality each demonstrate limits.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  3  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2011 09:55 pm
@DrDick,
"pocket psychology"...nothing else there ! (trash it)
vikorr
 
  0  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2011 11:50 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
There's a few points to this :

The subconcscious mind cannot think in negatives (negatives as in 'not', 'don't etc). In order to process the negative, it must first think in the positive. In other words, if you say to someone 'don't drop that $100k vase' - they must first think about dropping the vase in order to know what not to do...hence this sort of statement often 'jinxes' the carrier. If however you say 'grip the vase firmly but gently as you carry it' the result is usually just that.

In relation t the mind curing cancer - there are plenty enough case studies that show it is possible...but it appears that the majority of those that have survived have a few traits in common - firstly a belief they can overcome cancer, secondly a focus on doing so, and if there were a few other traits, but I don't recall those.

Everything we want to achieve in this life is influenced by our mind (should go without saying), and we can 'program' our mind to succeed...in reality we are always programming our mind - the only variable is whether we do so consciously or 'randomly' / with a goal in mind, or aimlessly / with focus or meanderingly (etc)

Most of our 'mind responses' (those 'thoughts' that happen both subconsciously, and semi consciously in a split second inside your mind) to any given situation are automatic...and usually they are programmed. If they contain negative (bad views) programs, then the outcome is likely to be much less favourable then if it contains positive programs.

Our brains also create a 'sympathetic' response to other peoples emotions ('sympathetic' in this case means 'similar/mirror' repsonse). If someone is happy we feel happier, if someone is grieving we 'feel' for them, if someone is passionate about something we can get swept up in it, if someone is angry with us we often get angry with them....if the mob riots, normally passive people can often join in. Etc.

There's plenty more to it than that, but the 'power of positive thinking' goes a lot deeper than most people realise, and is a lot more difficult to achieve (as a whole) than most people realise.

To me the proponents of the 'Law of Attraction' have come close in some respects (not all) but have simply misunderstood how the subconscious mind works.

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2011 12:36 am
@vikorr,
Hi Vik !

..yeah...nothing against the benefits of "positive thinking", or more correctly, placebo...that as far as I know works extremely well with 36% of the population, and well enough with around 30% more...

...now the problem was that the "kind" of book it was referred says a hell lot more then that...its a bit like the Obi-Wan Kenobi and the "force" theory...sells like Kentucky fried chicken...

...Aside that I agree it can be useful if taken in moderate quantity┬┤s...

I myself, "God knows", when in need to shear up my mood indulge into a Star Trek Voyager few episodes on the weekend...a far more positive/naive approach to mankind┬┤s future...
(cheesy and all I still love it like when I was 6 and barely could keep up with the subs speed...it did captured my imagination up to present days...)

Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
roger
 
  4  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2011 01:19 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
If somebody gives me an honestly cheerful smile, I usually smile back. I think it works.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2011 06:17 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Hi Fil,

Quote:
...now the problem was that the "kind" of book it was referred says a hell lot more then that...its a bit like the Obi-Wan Kenobi and the "force" theory...sells like Kentucky fried chicken...
Yeah...I just can't get into that stuff. The subconscious itself is fascinating, but the Law of Attraction is - yeah, what you said 'force like'.

Quote:
..yeah...nothing against the benefits of "positive thinking", or more correctly, placebo
Placebo wouldn't really be correct.

Given, every thought we have produces changes in our body...every single thought, so it is better to have positive than negative thoughts from that point of view.

But positive thinking isn't just about health - it's about recognising how you mind actually works, and harnessing it's abilities in the correct way. I'm reminded very much of Lleyton Hewitt, who after reaching world No.1 ranking, started playing 'not to lose', rather than 'to win'...and of course his ranking started slipping...and the same is true for almost all sporting teams (because in order to think about 'not losing' you have to think about losing...but when you think about 'going for it', you tend to go for it - unless of course that's just surface talk, and down deep you actually believe the opposite). Talent will carry you far, and the right mindset will take you further.

Going back to Tennis again - I remember an Australian Open when Federer was at his absolute peak, and I listenned to interviews of his opponents. Of them, many said 'I believe I can beat Federer' (there's no need to qualify a statement with 'I believe' when you really do believe), I thought that Marit Safin was the only one that talked like he knew he could beat Federer - that appeared to believe deep down that he could beat Federer (despite Federer in reality, playing better than Safin at that point in his career) - and Safin did beat Federer.

I watched my own Rugby League team (I'm Australian), which contained a very talented roster, play 'not to make mistakes' and 'not to lose', and I knew they were in a for long and disappointing season - they went from one error riddled display to another (but put them in representative teams in the same year where their mindset was different, and they played nearly flawlessly). They finished last (I think perhaps the effect multiplies in teams, but not sure of this)

Examples of this can be found everywhere in life.

It's not that things 'just happen to you' and just 'land in your lap'...it's that your focus on achieving what you want is framed in the right way so that your whole mind works with you, rather than against you.
0 Replies
 
RisingToShine
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2011 07:19 pm
@DrDick,
let me guess, it was the movie, "The Secret"
I have both seen the movie numerous times and have read the book.

While I think there is an honest truth behind the law of attraction, I believe the concept is still not fully understood because of lack of scientific evidence to support it.
I remember in the book it explained an example of a woman who recognized her reading glasses as a misconception of getting older, she then applied 'the secret' and three days later, poof! No more reading glasses her eyes were healed. The secret makes the whole idea of positive thinking to seem like magic.
But, I think the concept of illness seen within the movie fits perfectly within epigenetics which will explain the limitations of 'positive thinking'. Epigenetics is quite amazing.
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1951968-1,00.html

As for the other concepts about achieving material gains through the law of attraction, I have read of many instances of where it has happened, but have no idea about how it happens, so it is hard to identify those limitations.
vikorr
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2011 07:35 pm
@RisingToShine,
RTS, I remember seeing an Oprah show on The Law of Attraction, with the books author and a number of hmmm... experts (about 7 of them)

Every single one of them said it must be coupled with actions. It seem only the 'amateurs' think things 'just happen'. And hey, some people who hope to win the lottery do in fact, win the lottery.
RisingToShine
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jun, 2011 09:04 pm
@vikorr,
Be nice.
I was not trashing the Law of Attraction. I have not seen the Oprah show about it but have watched the movie and read the book. I would not have done both if I didn't believe there was truth within it, which I stated in my above response. And would not continue to reference the book to friends, as I do.

You're talking to the person who was obsessed with this idea to the point where I tried to have no limitations to the rule and practiced the concept full heartily for at least a month straight, thinking about this for countless hours.

The way the material is presented though, imo, could have been better. If you watch the movie or read the book you will realize where I am coming from. And also why this thread was created, the theory creates some unanswered questions about the limitations of it.
And I am very aware of the entire concept of it, what you are referring to is the part that says some people believe their thoughts to just be on autopilot, which I do not believe.
Do not be so quick to judge.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 04:47 am
@RisingToShine,
I think perhaps that you have misunderstood where I was aiming my comments.
RisingToShine
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 12:32 pm
@vikorr,
how so?
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 06:16 pm
@RisingToShine,
It was a general commentary that you appear to have believed was aimed at you.
RisingToShine
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 06:48 pm
@vikorr,
My mistake. Since it was addressed towards me, I only assumed it was. It's hard to decipher emotions with text on a screen.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 06:49 pm
@DrDick,
I don't think there is a definite limit to the power of positive thought. But there is a difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking. To find a positive perspective on a situation is positive thinking. To ignore facts and convince yourself about what you want to be true is delusion. But even this line is not simple to draw. You will not get a fat check in the mail just by telling yourself that it will happen while you sit around doing nothing. But if you have a positive attitude towards an idea you have that might get you a fat check in the mail, you are way more likely to get that check than if you are negative towards your own initiative.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 06:57 pm
You have seen those attempts at early flight involving bicycles and six hundred wings ? Well that is the limit of the power of positive thinking . You can see it in their faces as they all stand around looking at the debris . They are no longer thinking positively .
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 06:17 am
@RisingToShine,
It was addressed to you in conversation about the Law of Attraction, not as a commentary about you. I didn't realise it had any actual personal meaning to you. And yes, as you say, written communication has it's pitfalls.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

60-Second Adventures in Thought - Question by Butrflynet
Neverending Rap Battle V - Discussion by Illustraight
Mind in charge. - Question by wonderment
Relativity of morality - Discussion by InkRune
logic - Discussion by sunyata
Metacognition insights - Discussion by void123
learn from your mistake - Question by jamesspencer
Will the World end in 2012? - Discussion by mars90000000
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Power of Positive Thinking - where is the line?
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/20/2021 at 10:43:55