A while ago it was discovered that to sell to the average aspirant after wealth and happiness, you first had to make them unhappy with what they already have. A whole industry was created on the basis that buyers were stupid enough to believe that they were doing it all wrong! (Oh – but it wasn’t their fault! Ha bloody ha!)
The most successful of these products is the insanely destructive “positive mental attitude”. PMA has probably sold more books, videos and training courses and destroyed the self confidence of more people than anything else.
What does a positive mental attitude involve?
First and foremost, it involves – no, DEMANDS – that you lie to yourself. No matter what reality afflicts you with, no matter how many problems you have, PMA requires that you see only a beneficial situation. You have to subvert your rational appreciation of a crappy situation and substitute a totally irrational observation that “all is well with the world”. You are required to lie to yourself and promulgate those lies to others who may care for you and see the reality that you are denying.
One of the most purile tests for PMA is to say whether a glass is half full or half empty. It is taught that negative people see the glass as half empty because the word empty has negative connotations.
As a realist in control of your own powers of observation, you would have to say that the glass is neither half full nor half empty – IT IS BRIM FULL!
In the same way, a realist will see that a problem has arisen and solve it while a PMA advocate will be still trying to convince himself that there is no problem.
You can lie to yourself all that you want to, that is your priviledge, but please, please, please do not let the writers of pulp fiction tell you that what you know is not correct.
Sometimes life is not fair but lying to yourself won’t make it fair.
My cancer won’t go away because I lie and say it does not exist and neither will my blindness BUT my realistic outlook on life allows me to deal with what is, change what I can change (if it needs changing) and prepare for what is to come.
I am not a positive person, nor am I a negative person, I AM COMFORTABLE WITH REALITY. I am contemptuous of anybody who does not know anything about me thinking that I am stupid enough to buy a “one size fits all” book and change my reality for their money making theory.