It’s high time we put the most enduring myths about human behavior to bed, and see the mind—and the world—as it is.
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"God" doesn't give you more than you can bear, the universe is benevolent, and good things come to those who wait (or work harder, faster, etc.). I was sick to death of "positive affirmation" in the 1990's. I must pause here and say that, I am fairly certain that I am able to sort information, determine reality, predict possible outcomes (cause and effect) and do, actually "think". I know the difference between processing information logically, weighing pros and cons, assessing data, and so forth and making a rash decision based on a "hunch". Not that the latter cannot sometimes prove to be the better of one or more possible decisions, but I actually think that I "think" :-) Also, in reference to one of your other articles regarding how most human beings believe themselves to be more intelligent than others, I could not relate to that at all. For me, it has been the opposite. I always presume others are as intelligent as they tell me they are or place trust in those presumed to be smarter (doctors, etc.) in certain areas of expertise. That has caused me more harm than good in the long run but it is difficult to know when to trust another person's expertise over your own knowledge. Also, I cannot even begin to relate to the optimism theory here. "Cancer will happen to the other person", and such thoughts. I know other people who are able to think, who are cautious; consider consequences, and have more of a negative or neutral outlook as it relates to their own lives. And please know that I am not suggesting for a moment that the thought process, either negative or positive, "creates" outcomes. From what I have observed, it is action alone which determines whether or not succeeds in their goal, whether it be becoming an astronaut or scrubbing the floor. Back to the "positivity" strand. I am so happy that you wrote this article. My library has bee the recipient of most of my "law of attraction", positive thinking, (you can DO it!) books. People eat that stuff up and authors keep producing it. I am not discounting that it might feel better to take a brighter, happier outlook than it does to chronically expect the worst, but there is no science to prove that magical thinking produces results. Just as it is detrimental to a child's development to tell him or her "you can do ANYthing! You can be ANYthing! You are WONDERFUL"! and other such vague explosions of bullshit, it is counter-productive to have a mind-set which allows you to believe you are "better" than others, nothing "bad" will ever happen to you, or that any day now. your "ship is going to come in". A pendulum swung to either extreme is unhealthy, in my opinion. You know the old saying: "A pessimist is never disappointed". While that is no way to live either, there is something to it! I do have a question and that is, for those who do not fall into the "rose colored glasses" category (believe ourselves to be superior, immune from misfortune, and are unable to live by absurd platitudes in the face of contrary evidence) is the difference due to hard-wiring (we are anomalies) or could it be a result (abnormality in brain chemistry) of childhood experience or life traumas? There is so much written about mind-set and "belief systems" being a choice. Which means that these things can be altered by forcing oneself to adopt different (happier, perhaps even delusional) ideas and input. My current thought is, if this were true, and if it "worked", wouldn't everyone be wonderful and amazing? Thanks for any ideas you share!
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