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Friday, March 8, 2013


Fast food exists because we look for short cuts. We even look for short cuts when it comes to success and happiness. So, short cuts to success and happiness have been packaged and repackaged, over and over again, creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Positive thinking is one of the best selling of these products.

Positive thinking DOES facilitate success and happiness. It CAN create opportunities or outcomes that may not have happened otherwise.

How does positive thinking facilitate success and happiness? How can it improve our circumstances? Why do negative thoughts produce negative results? Is it universal forces, energy, quantum physics, spiritual guides or prayers being answered? NO! It is not.

Thoughts can impact our circumstances because a thought (positive or negative) creates an idea and our subconscious stores the idea. The subconscious then causes the conscious mind to notice information related to that idea. Therefore, positive thoughts cause us to notice opportunities to pursue our goals. Negative thoughts cause us to notice problems and sabotage our success and happiness.

Unfortunately, many of us may not be willing to put in the time and effort that is required to obtain the benefits of positive thinking. Instead, we look for, and buy, short cuts. Often, our hunger for instant success and happiness is so great; we consume "positive thinking fast food" products even if the ingredients are unsubstantiated or implausible. Who really knows or really understands metaphysical laws of the universe, quantum physics or non-corporeal beings? When we're fast food positive thinkers, we don't stop to think about this. We're in a hurry; we're hungry for results.

The main ingredient missing in many positive thinking fast food products is "effort". Unfortunately, even when "effort" is included as an ingredient, we may pay more attention to the packaging and product distractions thereby wasting our efforts on the filler stuff. This is because the filler stuff is easier (and more fun), than the truly essential ingredient, effort.

Effort involves taking personal responsibility for making things happen and taking an active role. For example, the currently popular "law of attraction" principle appeals to the lazy quality in many of us because it "glosses over" that which is really important; which is - YOU have to take responsibility to look for opportunities and YOU have to take action. Instead, proponents of the "law of attraction" tell us to focus on desiring, asking and feeling; and to rely on some aspect of quantum physics to do the work for us. There is very little mention of "doing". Accordingly, it is more likely, than not, that anyone that has achieved their goals while applying the principles of the "law of attraction" has been successful because they have also done some "doing".

My point is that thinking, wanting and visualizing positive things is necessary - but it is not enough. YOU have to take an active role. YOU have to get out of bed in the morning. YOU have to get out of the house. YOU have to look for opportunities. YOU have to be open to the opportunities that YOU see. YOU have to have the courage to act. YOU have to do the work that is required. YOU have to do your best.

In other words, if you really want to benefit from positive thinking, there are no fast food shortcuts. Dreaming about the delicious things you want to eat is great, but you have to shop for the ingredients and then you have to start cooking!

Positive thinking is just one of the foods that promote success and happiness.

Copyright © 2007 Denise Lammi

About the Author: Denise Lammi, B.M.A., C.A. is a Chartered Accountant, former partner in a successful firm, instructor, co-author of the personal development book "Your Own Devices": A Life Manual and author of numerous professional development seminars. She believes that both personal and professional development is required for an optimal quality of life.

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