Don’t Think Positive
Robert Bateman

Thank you so much for this. My strongest personal objection to the “think positive” philosophy is not only that it’s unrealistic to expect to control your thoughts to that extent (as you point out), it’s also actually counter-productive to happiness because it cuts you off from the most effective means of improving your circumstances: assessing what they are (realistically), figuring out what you need to do to change them, and going ahead and doing that thing. And how lovely for the wealthy/advantaged class, that those of us not in that class, instead of protesting, unionizing, suing, consciousness raising, etc., all go home and ponder our “failure” to think positive hard enough. Wow. It separates us from each other and effectively prevents collective political and legal action to make this an issue of “thinking.” Being optimistic about the future results of your hard work to change things might make you more motivated to take that action, but it’s the action making the change, not what’s swirling around in your head. Thanks for this piece!

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