It has been such a great source of learning for me, especially while out walking the dog, doing the dishes, folding laundry or even (yes, Brandon Grasley) while brushing my teeth!
The January 2, 2015 Inquiring Minds podcast is all about positive thinking, and how it relates to achieving our goals for 2015.
I grew up with a grandmother who was a disciple of Norman Vincent Peale and “The Power of Positive Thinking”.
But does “positive thinking” actually lead to a better outcome?
Is this quote actually even true?
Professor Gabriele Oettingen helps us to rethink our beliefs about positive thinking.
She challenges us to think about positive thinking as a number of different activities instead of just one way of being.
Sometimes, we think very positively about an upcoming event because we have had similar success in the past. This type of thinking is based on reality, and it often results in better outcomes because it is a motivating factor.
However, having positive daydreams about upcoming events is linked to poorer outcomes. Positive daydreaming can lead to relaxation. Professor Oettingen suggests that people who frequently use positive daydreaming as a strategy, convince themselves that they are fine, and they don’t take the necessary steps to move forward in achieving their goals.
“Mental contrasting“, however, is a technique that can lead to successfully achieving some goals, while letting go of goals that you will not be able to achieve. The important factor is building close connections between your current reality and your goal as well as your current reality and identified obstacles, and what is needed to overcome the obstacles.
The process is known as “WOOP” – Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.
The process is explained here: http://www.woopmylife.org/. It’s a scientific approach to achieving the outcomes you want in life.
Can it turn your wishful thinking into the life you are looking for?
I would love to hear if this little piece of research helps you “stick” with your 2015 resolutions.
Could this be a helpful strategy for students?
Happy New Year!