Category: Critical thinking
Most widely held works by Daniel Gimelberg
Hotel room ( Visual )
5 editions published in 2005 in English and Spanish and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
A story about chance. Fate has brought five different characters together in an old New York hotel, in the same room, on the same day, at the same time
Un Tipo corriente ( Visual )
4 editions published between 2001 and 2009 in Spanish and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Samuel Goldstein está pisando las cuatro décadas y entre otros padecimientos tiene a Esther, tiene astigmatismo, tiene madre y tiene hermana. Su trabajo consiste en escribir los monólogos humorísticos de un programa cuyo "rating" languidece a la misma velocidad que su autoestima y todavía no ha renunciado a su sueño de ser un escritor "de verdad". Cada año retoma su idea de empezar una novela y cada año fracasa en el intento. Ante la inminencia de su cumpleaños número cuarenta Samy decide dejarlo todo de lado. Y en medio del torbellino de confusiones aparece en su vida Mary, otro torbellino que gira en dirección opuesta
En la ciudad In the city by Cesc Gay ( Visual )
1 edition published in 2004 in Spanish and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The story of a group of friends in the grand city of Barcelona
Ficción by Cesc Gay ( Visual )
1 edition published in 2007 in Multiple languages and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
"Álex es un director de cine que intenta terminar el guión de su siguiente film. Con tal excusa decide irse unos días, dejar a su mujer y a sus hijos e instalarse en casa de un amigo en un pequeño pueblo de montaña. Un lugar tranquilo y solitario, ideal para su propósito. Allí conocerá a Mónica, una violinista de vacaciones. "--Container
Søstrenes videohjem Hermanas videohome ( Visual )
1 edition published in 1995 in Danish and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
1.150 kg by Daniel Gimelberg ( Book )
1 edition published in 2003 in Spanish and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide
2010 ( AR ) · Spanish · Drama · G · 90 minutes of full movie HD video (uncut).MOVIE SYNOPSIS - What's the story of this 2010 film?
Antes, full movie - Nacho's life is divided in two by an event of which we know nothing, something that no one speaks. In one story, Nacho studies and lives with his family. In the other is immersed in a violent way downhill and fall seems to be endless. You can watch Antes online on video-on-demand services (Netflix, HBO Now), pay-TV or movie theaters with original audio in Spanish. This film has been premiered in theaters in 2010 (Movies 2010 ). The DVD and Blu-Ray edition of full movie was sold some time after its official release in theaters.CAST Antes (2010) MOVIE REVIEW online
Good, meet its target to entertain. The story is interesting.
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Mendelsohn: “I think that any serious author wants one thing: to be read intelligently and generously. What could be the value of praise that’s based on an unintelligent reading?”
This is part of an ongoing series of interviews about the art of criticism. More to follow soon.
Daniel Mendelsohn has been hailed by the New York Times as “our most irresistible literary critic.” His essays, reviews and articles appear in many publications, most frequently in the New Yorker. the New York Review of Books. and the New York Times Book Review. where he is a columnist. His books include two memoirs, The Elusive Embrace (1999) and The Lost: A Search For Six of Six Million (2006), which will be reissued in the UK in January; a two-volume translation of the works of CP Cavafy; and two collections of essays. He lives in New York City.
I spoke to Mendelsohn about deadlines, the difficulties of writing about TV, and why literature undergraduates should study Pauline Kael rather than Derrida.
Judging from previous interviews, you are a great perfectionist as a writer. What role does time play in your criticism? When do you feel you’re ready to write a piece?
I am a great believer in deadlines. I come from a scholarly background, having done a graduate degree in Classics before I ever dreamed of being a writer; and in that world, the rule is that you can’t write anything until you’ve read everything. So for a person like me, with that training but making a living as a writer for the past 20-something years, it’s useful to impose limits, as I could spend years researching a piece. Obviously you want some things to be timely—there are certain things that are momentous in the culture that you want to be discussed at the right time. For instance, I published a big piece about Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones in the New York Review of Books when it came out in 2009, and I remember trying to get it moved to a slightly later issue, mostly because I was so caught up in figuring it out, doing more research on the mid 20 th -century French thinkers who inspired Littell, and Bob Silvers was emphatic that he wanted it to coincide with the publication, so I spent a rather madcap weekend working it up…which, in the end, was the right thing, as Bob knew well. Sometimes it’s good to have a push to get it done.
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Autor: Paul • January 18, 2014 • Essay • 1,337 Words (6 Pages) • 512 Views
Critical Thinking is a broad term that is often misunderstood and hard to define. Being a good critical thinker is not simply a matter of intelligence but rather how much one is predisposed to the seven dispositions of critical thinking and how much one possesses the skills and sub-skills of critical thinking. In short, the seven dispositions of critical thinking are: being systematic, inquisitive, judicious, truth seeking, analytical, open-minded, and confident in their reasoning. The six skills of critical thinking are: interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, explanation, and self-regulation.
The video "Why We Make Bad Decisions" presented by Dan Gilbert provides great examples of all the critical thinking skills as he uses nearly all of them, and it is fairly safe to use Gilbert as an example of a good critical thinker. He begins in the video by stating the question, is there any way to avoid bad decisions by always knowing the right thing to do? He answers this immediately by stating that there is in fact a method that was invented by Daniel Bernoulli in the 1700's in the form of a formula. This formula states that the expected gain of something is equal to the odds of gain multiplied by the value of the gain. He states that despite knowledge of the formula, people consistently fail at accurately calculating odds and value then proceeds to explain why we fail at both one at a time. This is an example of the interpretation skill and its three sub-skills of categorization, decoding significance, and clarifying meaning. He splits up the reasoning behind our inability to calculate odds and value into two separate categories that come together later. He decodes the significance of his initial question by stating that even despite our knowledge of the equation we are unable to apply it effectively to real life. Finally, he clarifies the meaning of the Bernoulli formula by stating what it means in the simplest terms possible.
Gilbert moves on from stating his questions and goes straight into demonstrating the critical thinking skill of analysis. He tries to answer the question of why do we make errors in calculating odds. He performs the sub-skill of examining ideas and identifying arguments by investigating if it is a result of the fact that people base their ideas of odds from memory, even though that isn't an accurate way of doing it. He identifies the reasons and claims favoring this idea by stating that when people are asked if there are more words beginning with the letter r or whose third letter is 'r', a majority will answer that there are more words beginning with the letter 'r', even though that is incorrect. This is because people based that idea on the fact that from memory they could think of more examples of words beginning with the letter 'r'. Gilbert subsequently notes that people will vastly overestimate how many people die from fireworks and tornados but vastly underestimate how many people die from asthma and drowning. He attributes this to the media attention that is placed to the uncommon occurrences like death by fireworks and tornados and lack of attention placed on the more common occurrences like drowning. He uses this as evidence for people calculating odds based on memory.
As the presentation continued, Gilbert demonstrated the skill of Inference. He queried the evidence by asking whether there are more factors that contribute to our failure of calculating odds then simply our reliance on memory. He conjectured alternatives by asking if things like how we compare to the past, compare to the possible, and how our perceptions could also affect our ability to calculate odds and value. He drew the conclusion that all of those things significantly damage our ability to calculate odds and value using inductive reasoning. His reasoning stemmed from the examples that people would play a lottery but wouldn't play if one person
“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.”
I was a perfectionist growing up, always trying to bang my flawed round-shaped self into a perfect square hole that couldn’t possibly contain me.
In my early twenties, I decided to focus on personal development—a positive thing, I assumed.
I figured if I worked on improving a little every day and nurturing a positive mindset, I’d feel a lot better about myself than I did when I got down on myself for my flaws.
I didn’t take into consideration that I might become a perfectionist about positivity.
That I might catch negative thinking and feel guilty about it instead of letting it go and moving into a more positive space.
That I might muster every piece of my will to avoid negative feelings and end up over-thinking them instead of simply feeling them and letting them pass.
For most of my life, I’ve fought reality. I didn’t like the way people responded to me, so I tried to manipulate their perception. I didn’t like the world around me, so I tried to control it. I didn’t like the world within me, so I tried to escape it.
Even when I tried to be positive, I was resisting the present. If only I was positive enough, I thought, I could create a better tomorrow—then I’d really be happy.
I tried on different positive hats in my pursuit of happiness.
I’ve told myself that everything really is in my mind—that if someone appears to be mean or inconsiderate, it’s largely a consequence of how I’m interpreting things. But then I started wondering if that’s the case, what’s wrong with my mind? Why do I so frequently assume the worst first and then have to catch it and change it?
I made lists of all the things my life would involve if it was more positive: I’d volunteer; I’d be open-hearted, always eager to greet a stranger with a smile; I wouldn’t fear lacking, and would freely give to anyone who needed it. Then I felt overwhelmed by the list of things I needed to do. Who has the time and energy to be that positive?
I’ve focused on things I appreciate in life by keeping a gratitude journal. Oddly enough, I stressed about that, as well. I felt guilty if I missed a day and continually measured whether or not I was doing enough to express gratitude in my daily life.
Positive thinking didn’t bring me peace because I was still the one doing the thinking, and I hadn’t really changed. I was still fighting, judging everyone and everything, including myself, and wondering when life would finally get easier.
No matter how positive I tried to be, it never worked because I wasn’t working for it.
Working for it, for me, involves just fifteen minutes a day.
I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t experienced it myself, but a brief morning meditation has a profound effect on me. When I start the day by sitting in silence for even a short while, my mental space transforms.
Without some type of contemplative practice, my busy mind gets overwhelming. Without taking time to clear my head. positive thinking is only moderately effective because there are just too many thoughts for the positive ones to have an impact.
Positive thinking, in itself, isn’t enough for me to experience the world in a present, joyful way. The most positive thinking, I’ve decided, is less thinking.
I’d like to say I no longer over-analyze, get lost in my thoughts, or get hard on myself, but that’s not entirely true.
Even with tools that help me feel calm and centered. I still feel this way at times.
There are days when I fight with myself and the world and judge myself pretty harshly. It’s usually when I’ve stopped doing the things I know I need to do for me. When work gets overwhelming and people seem demanding, sometimes I don’t make those things a priority.
I am still imperfect, I still make bad decisions at times, and I still struggle with letting go. It’s called being human.
Growth is rarely a straight line. It’s more like an EKG monitor. It’s tempting to look at it with a sense of anxiety. To measure the peaks and valleys, wondering if the peaks are high and frequent enough.
But I’m learning that being positive means releasing the need to judge—to stop assessing what’s right and good enough, and whether I’ve been right or good enough, and approach each new moment with a sense of space.
It’s my job to create that space—to clear out all the thoughts that drown out the positive ones.
The biggest barrier between me and peace is my instinct to analyze why I didn’t, don’t, or might not have it. Stillness silences that instinct.
When I take time for stillness, it doesn’t matter how I interpret things because suddenly I stop telling stories about events as they happen to me.
When I take time for stillness, it doesn’t matter how many positive things I could do if I tried; I’m too busy putting good into the world to dwell on those lists.
When I sink into stillness, it doesn’t matter how many things I write in my gratitude journal; I’m too busy appreciating the world in front of me to worry about jotting it down.
Today, I feel peaceful. In this moment, I am not trying to be positive. I created space for myself to just be. And that, I’ve learned, is the most positive thing we can do for ourselves.
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story. an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. To strengthen your relationships, get her new book, Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges . For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes. follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook .
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I’m trying to think of something atypical to say but I can’t, so I’ll take a leaf out of your book and just say: wow.
A huge thanks for saying these things! I feel constantly daunted by positive thinking (being a cynic and all) and those who peddle it. It’s a relief to see that not only does someone else feel it doesn’t work for them as it’s apparently supposed to, but they’re also willing to stand up and say that it doesn’t work. In a coherent and validated voice too.
I’m embarking on a bit of a venture today and I’ve been making myself sick with stress over it – will I be able to cope, think positive, you’ll be fine, you’ll find a way – when really I’ve been itching to just come out and say: I’m shooting from the hip here, and a little further than I can manage, but I’m gonna give it a bash anyway.
I forget that I’m a better person when I focus (or rather not focusing at all) on just being. Me. Today I’ll remember this.
(I’m also very tempted to join a local yoga group now…)
Thank you very much for this post!
i can relate to what you share here … i just started what i called “meditating” and it has been a bliss…
I really like this post – positive thinking seems to be a good thing but only if it flows naturally. I am still struggling with the “trying to be a better person” bit sometimes but I’m on the road to just accepting myself and in turn, accepting other people and life’s shortcomings. I think taking time for yourself may lead to positivity – at least in part – and one may not even notice.
I’m glad to hear somebody shares a similar view with me.
Positive thinking has never really been my thing either. I simply don’t like the idea of constructing a false reality and blocking out my true emotion.
I’ve always wanted to give some form of meditation a shot and this article may have just pushed me over the edge.
I try to thik positively, and for the most part I do. When I don’t, I don’t. In due time, I come back to positive thoughts. For sure I have not always had that thought process, and when I am not thinking positive, this is definitely not my process. Yoga and meditation are great comfort and aid. I recently picked my meditation practice back up, and while slow going, it is what it is. Its all better when I remember to stay in the moment. Thanks for the reminder.
this was the most inspiring and wonderful article ever! thank you for sharing this.
How refreshing to read this. After I watched The Secret I stressed myself out so bad by trying to be positive. And I did the same thing with the gratitude journal. I think your suggestion of thinking less is perfect. However being an Aquarius I can’t seem to stop. I try to mediate but my mind won’t quiet itself. Just was introduced to your website. So happy to have found it!
Lori you inspire me in so many ways
“For most of my life, I’ve fought with what is. I didn’t like the way people responded to me, so I tried to manipulate them. I didn’t like the world around me, so I tried to control it. I didn’t like the world within me, so I tried to escape it.”
Oh, me too! I got myself so far off track doing this for the first 40 years of my life.
“The most positive thinking, I’ve decided is less thinking.”
This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Talk about perfect timing. I’ve been wanting to be positive that sometimes it strikes me, negativity creeps in from the stress of chasing the positivity. And this is so wrong. The stress is unnecessary, so is the thought of wanting to be positive. Positivity comes from the mind, seeing something good in every single thing even when things can be nasty or bad. It’s all about perception and interpretation. Thanks Lori!
Your sentiments are echoed here in a short piece about mediation called ‘Why Zen’ http://s.nodecity.com/whyzen
Thank you for sharing.
it wasn’t until I realized how I impacted people, that I was able to change from a very negative, passive woman to a positive assertive woman.
I found that positive thinking didn’t work for me because I didn’t understand who I was and how I impacted the people around me.
So until you know how you impact others, your thinking may be negative.
This quote speaks volumes to me I love it.”
For most of my life, I’ve fought with what is. I didn’t like the way people responded to me, so I tried to manipulate them. I didn’t like the world around me, so I tried to control it. I didn’t like the world within me, so I tried to escape it.”
That’s an excellent point to ponder. I sometimes forget the impact I have on other people, and it’s helpful to remember that my inner state affects everyone around me. Taking care of myself isn’t just for me; it’s for everyone and everything in my space.
Thanks for commenting!
Beautiful. I really think that the whole ” being positive, escaping from every single negative thought like it was the devil which will make you so miserable” is a kind of exageratted. I have read so many books on this, and my life experience has also showed me that it is very true that we attract the things around us and we better be positive, but I believe we should also give ourselves the SPACE to simply be. To be human. You mentioned stillness, and I love that. I think that is a much powerful way of living, than just trying to envision ourselves as better and thinking positive 24/7 about things we want to attract in our lives. Getting the things I once wanted, does make me happy, but for a short time. Realizing that at some level, everything is OK, and I have everything I need within me, makes me content and peaceful.
Thank you for this amazing post.
You are most welcome. It sounds like you’ve come to some pretty powerful conclusions! I find it hard to really connect with people who say that they are always positive. I feel a lot happier when I give myself the freedom to acknowledge the darker parts of my experience. Suddenly those seem less like shameful things to cover up, and more like things I can accept and then minimize through self-awareness and mindfulness.
Hey Lori, thank you so much for this. I didn’t realise that was what I was doing too all along. Sometimes I find myself feeling bad about someone and I’d blame myself for being selfish, for being so petty and being angry that i’d immediately feel guilty. Only after reading your article did I realise that this isn’t the right way to really ‘let go’ and not let certain things get to me.
Thanks a lot again.
PS: I’m really thinking about joining a yoga class too. I think it would really help 🙂
You’re most welcome! I’ve gotten caught up in reactive emotions many times before. Sometimes it feels so difficult to just let go, but it’s so freeing to be able to do it. I hope you enjoy your first yoga class! It’s been one of my greatest passions in life, and I know you’ll love it!
Being a Perfectionist myself; you pretty much summed up all the negativeness I go through on a daily-basis; more or less. It really got me when u said, “There are days when I judge myself so much you’d be surprised I run this site,” bcz I remember having that conversation with you on fighting our inner demons & stuff sometime back…& i agree; Meditation does do wonders if we can do it on a daily basis…its something I try pushing myself to do daily since I have a tendency of doing it for a while & then not doing it…Thanks a bunch; this article really put a lot of words in paper that I have always kind of struggled to explain myself & others…
P.S. this also gives me hope in continuing to write in my site as well; whether anyone is really reading them or not..since we we have miles to cover in http://www.inner-u.com site before it can be developed into a well-rounded one..lol, but nice to be hopeful; hahah.
You’re most welcome. I find that a lot of my struggles come down to consistency. I know which activities keep me centered and (mostly) peaceful–I just need to make sure I do them regularly! Which reminds me, it’s time to meditate. =)
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Oh, enough already of all this positivity palaver…it’s turned a whole generation into self obsessed robots, robbing people of outward character…I dare say George Orwell would have called it what it is: groupthink. Thoughtful criticism or analytical comment seems to have been banned, in favour of “just be positive and don’t bring us all down with your negativity”. Now I’m NOT saying people should spend all their time being negative, but how about some balance?…quite frankly I find the omnipresent positvity police..a terrifying lot…..Just be yourself…sure, iron out the psycho-emotional kinks along-the-journey, but stop forcing the world into believing there’s only one acceptable mode of thought…ie. delusional.
I understand your point here. I agree there is a difference between being negative and thinking critically. I remember when I was in my early 20s I got caught up in a pyramid scam (thinking it was a legitimate business). A big part of the leader’s method involved telling us all to stay positive–which meant not questioning him. That’s when I realized I wasn’t being positive–I was being naive. Now I try to strike a balance!
Thank you so much for this. I left a company a while back because of this “positivity culture”. Everyone who had a different view on things became a negative outcast. I don’t know how that is positive behavior. Being naive is not the same is being positive. I left beause they made me feel that there is something wrong with me. I started asking friends and family if they saw me as a negative person and to be very honest with me. No, they never have, I am a very serious person who thinks things through, but it has left a mark on me. Are you sure I asked many times, but they were sure. I am now constantly analyzing how people see me, what they think of me, that agenda as Lori calls it.I used to approach people because I liked them and I started approaching them because they were a way for me to move up in the company. I hated what I was becoming and I decided to leave. I am slowly realizing there is nothing wrong with me.
You’re most welcome Elly! I am always skeptical when anyone suggests that critical thinking is negative. That’s so wonderful you’re realizing there’s nothing wrong with you!
Very good. I’ve been reading Andy Shaw’s work and practising acceptance has done more for me being happy than actually trying to be happy!
This is brilliant! Love this post very much and was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I am so glad I came across this article. Until today I really did think I was the only person that was over thinking things as much as I was. There was one point in the article where I thought to myself “Hey, I don’t remember writing this article” because it sounds exactly like me.
A few months ago I started my personal development journey and was very excited to see the changes it would bring in me. I read a few pages, took in what I was reading, however, after a couple of days I was beating myself up for not being that positive person the course was promoting. Like Nehira said, I was beating myself up for not being perfectly positive. I stopped reading through the course eventually because I thought it was not really doing anything for me. There were a few moments of motivation where I said to myself get into gear and give this a go again. So I tried again, wrote down a list of things I wanted to do with my life and things I wanted to achieve (helping out the homeless, working with troubled teens etc) but once again negative thoughts and over thinking took over and I said to myself I don’t have time to accomplish all this.
More recently, I have come to the point where I am sick and tired of analysing everything and constant thoughts and emotions whirling around in my head. Reading your post today has inspired me to take up (and stick with) meditation as it has worked for me in the past. I can see it helping me get rid of the constant thoughts as to why I cannot do things perfectly and clear my head.
Thanks for this great post (even if it was a while ago) I enjoyed reading it.
You’re most welcome Riddhi! I suspect this is a challenge for most of us–we try to be positive, but we’re just too overwhelmed by our thoughts to do it! I know when I’m feeling the least positive, it’s usually because I’m thinking too much and I simply need to take a deep breath, clear my head, and let go.
I’m about to disconnect from my computer and stop thinking, but before I do, I’m sending good thoughts your way! =)
In the east, they worry about destroying the ego and in the west, they worry about building it up. The older I get, the less I understand positive thinking myself because of the effects it has on others. In essence, its a religion of materialism and turns one into a selfish, greedy individual(at least from what I’ve seen). Buddha taught morality and the rewards of being moral.
Dear Lori, Thank you for posting your experience. I struggled with the same lifestyle and always worried about what everyone is thinking of me. By sharing your post you’ve given me a clear view of myself and how to change. Ive read numerous books in positivity and even watched many documentaries but nothing made more sense to me than your real life experience. Thank you for sharing with us.
I really like this Idea of not thinking compared to positive thinking which seems like hard work.
(Ignorance can be bliss (and we can get a lot more done with it.)
And your blog is quite rare in this field so I am now one of your fans. Keep up the good work, might save people from getting positively Lost.
Dave of GumpsWorld.com
hello Lori ,
I’m Aneesh. I have made a website please do visit that and read 🙂 it would help 🙂 http://www.thatsomethingworks.blogspot.com
Must ‘stillness’ involve silence? I love music. From the time I awake to the witching hours before sleep I listen to music. If not audibly, then in my head. I walk into a pub or restaurant or elevator and I automatically tune into the music: what’s the song? the instruments? the genre? the key? the time signature? my emotional response? I would rather listen to music than watch TV.
I’m often reminded of the health benefits associated with meditation and would love to explore the benefit. However, I don’t think I can sit for 10 minutes because I could be listening to, or missing, something cool. Youtube has become my musical rabbit-hole. I’ve tried mediating to the Zamfir-esque type music popular in meditation circles. But music is so subjective and meditative music is just not my thing. Can a person meditate to a favorite genre even if the music of ones preference happens to be, say, something like Black Sabbath or Muse or Kongos?
I don’t think stillness has to involve silence–though there are different benefits we can enjoy from sitting still in silence and sitting still with music.
I actually love guided meditations, and find them very effective in creating mental calm. I think it really comes down to finding what works for you!
I did a search for “Why doesn’t positive thinking work for me?” and came across this. I know it’s from a few yrs ago but just wanted to say thanks; this is probably the best thing I’ve come across on the subject. Everything else I found says something to the effect of “It doesn’t work because you’re not doing it right!” (Which just makes it worse, as you said!) The strange thing about me is, NEGATIVE thinking always seems to work so much better than positive! I’ve read all the books about positive thinking and tried all the techniques many, many, times, and for many months/years at a time…but it always seemed like no matter how hard I tried, in most situations I would keep having bad things happen instead of the good things I had been visualizing/thinking, and I couldn’t understand why! Literally, I would be blindsided by the bad things that happened, because I had truly and honestly been expecting great things, after all, isn’t that supposed to be the “Law of Attraction”, it’s a “universal law” so it’s supposed to work for everyone, right? Oddly, though, (after trying the whole positive thinking thing for extended lengths of time and finally giving up), I started to realize that whenever I would go into a situation thinking it was probably going to turn out bad (expecting the worst, so to speak) I would usually end up pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out! And, actually, it’s still that way with me! I’m starting to realize that it’s probably because I’m a perfectionist/control freak/type A, whatever you want to call it. Basically, I try too hard already, and already give 100% in everything I do. So while the whole positive thinking thing might work for most people (who, I hate to say this, don’t make enough of an effort most of the time), it won’t work for those of us who are already giving 100%, because that’s not what we need to learn. What we need to learn is to “let go” and realize we can’t control everything. Let God handle it (or whatever higher power you believe in). He’ll do a much better job than you. 😉 I think the positive thinking thing may work for a lot of people who have a “victim” mentality and need to learn to take control over their own lives. I’ve never had that mentality, though – in fact, my problem is the opposite; hard work and perseverance has gotten me a lot of great results in the past, so I tend to think I can get anything I want with it…when in reality, not EVERYTHING is up to me. It’s incredibly hard for me to let go and trust that God can handle it, but you know what…He’s never let me down! So I’m not going to attempt to “think positive” anymore; I’m just going to budget some more time for relaxation/meditation, since currently I’m always “going” and never take a break. And when I’m stressed out, maybe take a deep breath, and say a prayer. Can’t hurt, anyway. Thanks again for this; you are great! 🙂
You’re most welcome. I’m glad you found this helpful! It sounds like we are very similar, as I’m also a perfectionist/recovering control freak, and I’ve also needed to learn to let go. I still work at it every day, but the days when I make the effort to mediate, it’s far easier! I hope the relaxation/meditation helps you, as well. =)
Hi Neha. Thanks for sharing your mentor’s words and the link to the video! I can definitely see the value in believing we’re for a specific purpose. I know when I put my energy into a specific goal, it’s much easier to not get caught up in my head!
Johhny Mike Loco
your fucking retarded if positivity doesn’t work for you, OFCOURSE you need to program your brain first to WANT to be positive, it’s not really want, its just understanding what it is. This: never considered that wanting to be positive isn’t the same as being positive.”” is complete bullshit.
Johhny Mike Loco
you seem to have more brain activity in your head when saying all this TOTAL bullshit about TRYING to be positiive in my fucking opinion your retarded.
hi my name is david liu. this is going to be my first post. I don’t have that much experience posting. I somehow feels like this post I can definately relates to. I feel like i need to type and not look back because i’m too much of a perferctionist…
Such a cute little foot. *tickles*
One of the most honest articles I’ve ever read on here. Thank you for this – it’s okay to be human. I struggled so hard to be “positive” all the time, and it’s because it’s not an overnight change, it takes time. Those little steps don’t come without error and I’m working on accepting that. Love <3
You’re most welcome. It can be so hard to just accept ourselves where we are. I know, though, I am a lot more peaceful–and more accepting of everyone and everything around me–when I do.
And this is the issue I find with the current new-age culture. Everyone is over-zealous about being positive, so much so that you are an outsider if you don’t have that mindset. The problem with this, like the author noted, is that everyone represses any negativity and feels guilt about it. Repression of any kind is harmful.
What we must remember is to let go of attachment. This does not mean forget everything negative, it means stop trying to do something otherwise. Forcefully being happy is attaching oneself to happiness. You cannot “have” happiness, you let it flower in you. You cannot force a flower to bloom, you must allow sunlight, water and time- you must allow necessary ingredients. Happiness flows on it’s own accord, and grasping at it is folly.
Why I think this is happening is that people have so much access to knowledge without the wisdom. Many try to be like the Buddha, or Jesus. They are near perfect (if such a state exists), and act as such. Right now we are not perfect, but try to act perfect. We are trying to do the impossible. Trying to be a Buddha will only cause suffering. It is like a non-athletic person trying to be like a professional athlete and doing the same workouts. This person will likely become injured and be worse off. Instead this person should start small and work their way up. Spiritually we need to start small. By starting at the level of the Buddha and saying all suffering is imaginary we will be worse off. We need to slowly work our way up, and then one day we may see the truth for what it is.
In Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason, she refers to negative thoughts as ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). We experience an estimated 60,000 thoughts per day, and 95% of them are from the day(s) before. On average, 80% of those habitual thoughts are negative. That leaves us with 45,600 chronically negative thoughts per day. Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, calls them automatic negative thoughts, or ANTs.
In mindful stillness, we experience a sort of mental sabbath by just letting those thoughts (all thoughts) pass freely and attaching significance to none of them. In this manner we can resume our lives fresh and renewed and able to dismiss more negatives consequently revealing more positive thoughts.
I agree, sometimes forcing positive thoughts is self-defeating, because we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Sometimes.
Great to see this post resurface, Lori. Thanks.
Thanks Lori. It is amazing how similar we are in thinking, trying to have it all together always. I too have found meditation and coming back to the present moment the best practice, and practice we shall!
Love love love you for this comment! The illusion that positivity is the only “good” emotion drives me crazy. The whole spectrum of emotions are amazing. Sure, we can get stuck in an unhealthy place with one of them, but I love reveling in anger just as much as jumping up and down in excitement. To really experience and feel oneself is where I feel the best. It’s what makes me come alive.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Lori! Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences and insights! They hold great value for me! It is so wonderful to know I am not alone in my thoughts and struggles with the “everyday” of things. Thank you too for sharing the writings of other that you find. I look forward, every day to reading your “Tiny Buddha” posts! Love and light to you and your beautiful family!
Lori my favorite quote, which I think captures your thoughts nicely is:
“The biggest barrier between me and peace is my instinct to analyze why I didn’t, don’t, or might not have it. Stillness silences that instinct.”
I say that as I sit here wanting to get my list today done LOL. I think it goes back to the idea of being present-centered and flexible enough to allow what needs to happen, happen in our lives. Sometimes that doesn’t include what’s on our to do list. When we are very task oriented that can be a challenge.
Thanks for that insight that we all need to be reminded of!
You’re most welcome, Sarah! That’s actually what I appreciate most about running the site–seeing common threads in so many different stories reminds us we are never alone. Love and light to you and yours, as well! =)
You’re most welcome! It’s exhausting to try to have it all together, isn’t it? I know when I cut myself some slack and let myself be, I am far more at peace, and far better for the people around me.
I am a newb at Tiny Buddha but I just wanted to say your article makes so much sense and resonates so much with me. I’m 20 and currently studying for a teaching degree, which means so much to me that every little setback or imperfect lesson is like make or break! I have read books about positive thinking and attempted to practice it, but it is something that simply doesn’t work for me. I struggle to train my mind to think this way, and when there is so much going on in life I find it unrealistic to have the energy or will to constantly be catching all my negative thoughts. Stuck in a cycle of frustration and even more imperfection!
I had never even considered the idea of less thinking! Exactly what I need to do… over-analysing is my speciality! However, my thoughts have seemed clouded over lately (under thinking. Maybe if I under-think I can’t go wrong!) Anyways, I am definitely going to try to take some time out to focus on stillness as you say, and mindfulness.
Thank you so much for putting things into perspective, and it’s so nice to see I’m not the only person who thinks this way!
You’re most welcome! I definitely know that struggle. I can be a little rigid when it comes to my to-do list, but I’ve gotten better at giving myself space to do whatever it is I need to do for myself. I hope you have a present, peaceful weekend!
I love your advice to start small, Jordan. The tiny things all add up! And the image of allowing a flower to bloom is perfect. For someone who likes to control things, as I often do, it can be so challenging to let go. But I know that real happiness flows when we stop pushing, let ourselves be, and let life happen.
Andrew Clint Stees
Wow! Thank you for your insights. I truly apreciate your dedication to being present. It seems as though muddying up the water can be done with both negative thinking or positive thinking. By being present the water can settle and we can find the gems that are present. We can observe thoughts as neither good or bad. Each thought whatever kind may be a thread to a part of our selves that wants to be uncovered and integrated. I think going for being whole and awake is the true positive path.
Great comment. Sometimes I feel I am alone with exactly that notion that you are describing here!
I don’t get the concept of meditating in the morning. What sense does it make to go into a meditative state, when one just had 8 hours of sleep? I get the concept of practising meditation after a long and exhausting day (let’s say you woke up at 7 AM, had a busy day and you are getting home at 5 PM) to calm down, “reboot” yourself and get back into an state of focus and ease – I guess that makes sense (I don’t practice meditation or anything similar myself).
BTW – do you have an article that deals with staying focussed on work one has to finish (for example study assignments at home) and staying away from distractions? I have a HUGE problem with it. And please don’t say I have to meditate in the morning 😉
I suppose it’s a personal preference. I enjoy starting the day with mental stillness, which differs from my sleeping state. If I find this makes it easier to face the day’s difficulties with a sense of inner calm.
I don’t believe there’s an article like this on the site, but you may get some helpful advice in the community forums.
You can join here:
Then you can access the forums here:
I hope this helps!
I can see why that would seem ironic! =)
Happify is actually a separate website that advertises on Tiny Buddha. They offer science-based games and activities to help people be happier. Though my title seems to contradict their ad, I highly recommend their service!
Hello! 🙂 I followed some posts on Tiny Buddha, and I liked them. Was wondering if you can see some benefits for positive thinking FOR people who are always on the black side of the spectrum,like me. I was and still am annoyed with people who adopt positive thinking, forgetting about living in the real world, lying themselves and others about profound love and acceptance. Even had a discussion with someone older who had rose googles on the world and was trying to convince me this was the best approach. I think our own nature is mixed with good things and bad things- it;s our humanity. Trees are wise- you cannot grow branches to heaven (sky) if your roots are not planted in hell (chaos,muddled emotions,earth) first. No biblical connotations. But my mind setting is getting worse, I always put negativity first, taken to extremely whacked scenarios of what could go wrong- it;s a sense of comfort, because they don;t go that bad, so it;s something I have been doing all my life. Over-thinking, stress,negative attitude, extreme pesimism,living in the past, worrying about the future, all that.
I don;t want to turn into Bunny Brunhilda over night but I am trying self-hypnosis, Tried it first time today and it felt good. My brain is more relaxed (but not washed). I liked the message, it was just about relaxation,watching the breathing and the blinking. Letting go and feeling comfort. Nothing about immersing in the universe, or such things. Could self-hypnosis, with correct, individualised messages, be helpful in *my case? Thank you very much!
Dear Lori, this entire article resonated within me deeply and from my perspective, this whole concept of “positive thinking” doesn’t work as easily as some people make it to be; but this is what struck me the most:
“For most of my life, I’ve fought reality. I didn’t like the way people responded to me, so I tried to manipulate their perception. I didn’t like the world around me, so I tried to control it. I didn’t like the world within me, so I tried to escape it.”
I cannot grasp into words how this is still true about me.
Do you think there’s any way out of this pattern of thinking? I let it ruin my life (and nerves) once and it was devastating, but I’m determined to not let it happen again. It was all a product of an over-analyzing, perfectionism, over-thinking, living-in-the-past/future mindset that I successfully overcame, but what I quoted above somehow still finds its way into my mind and tries to pull me backwards. Any advice?
P.S. I love how profound your articles are and how they actually come from the heart. 🙂
I’m glad to hear self-hypnosis is helping you! I think anything that calms the mind and reinforces positive messages can be powerful in overcoming negative thinking. Where the pursuit of positive thinking becomes dangerous is when we deny our feelings. With this approach, it’s not about pretending to feel, think, or believe something we don’t; it’s about slowing reprogramming our brains. I hope the self-hypnosis continues to help!
Thank you for your response:)
I don’t know if it will silence my vortex of thoughts, but I am happy it helps me to be more focused about ”today”, not yesterday, nor tomorrow. Getting aware of it.
Thanks so much, and sorry for the painfully slow response! Great article on your site. I love that you emphasized how pushing positive thinking can feel condescending and uncaring. While we can all benefit from maintaining hope, I think sometimes we just want someone to validate our feelings and let us know they understand our pain. I know I’ve been there!
I look forward to exploring the rest of your site. =)