Positive thinking?

We often hear about the benefits of positive thinking. It makes life easier, gets positivity into your life, makes things smoother. I have to admit I never liked this idea completely, it seams kind of naive to me. The idea of being positive has for sure it’s good points, but I think that “positive thinking” implies a certain degree of “switching off intelligence”, or, in more yogic terms, “being disconnected from reality”.


Lately during my 300hr advanced teacher training, I spent 6 marvellous days with Doug Keller, yoga philosopher and therapist. It was great to hear him talk about his experiences with such humility. We learned a lot and I am really thankful to Doug. At a certain point the topic of “positive thinking” came up. It caught my attention how Doug resumed in a very smart way my thoughts about “positive thinking” in relation to yogic philosophy.


Without getting too deep into yogic philosophy, it’s fundamentally good to have a sort of positive goal to envision. In the same time, it’s also crucial to realistically recognize the obstacles on the way to that goal. It makes things easier to shift back and forth between a positive goal and the reality of *real* obstacles on the way there. Doug was pointing out the fact that like this, you loose less energy. Energy that can be very useful to overcome the real obstacles on the way.


I couldn’t agree more. There are always obstacles showing up on our path, if you want it or not. The fact of facing them, instead of switching off reality with this idea of general positive thinking in mind, is strictly related to being fully in the present moment and doing what has to be done. And it’s connected to the fact that, you can put it either way you want, things are always changing, always. Facing reality one step at the time is more honest than daydreaming a life that has still to come.

Article: The problem with positive thinking in the Sunday Review of the NYT.



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