5 points to avoid wasting your life with positive thinking

Goal and Success


I read the following book by Oliver Burkeman.
This book denies positive thinking, which is commonly misunderstood, based on scientific research.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
This is very interesting and I will introduce it.

This article is recommended for people who:

  • Those who want to know positive thinking correctly scientifically
  • Someone who is already scientifically correct about positive thinking


Outline of the book

Here are five points to detoxify positive thinking discussed in this book.

Don't think positive

The idea of “being positive at any time” is the basis of self-development.
However, according to the “polar bear rebound effect” advocated by psychologist Daniel Wegner, forcing negative thoughts and feelings into positive is ineffective.
On the contrary, it seems to promote negative emotions.
In this way, it is proved that the more a person tries to look away from the negative, the more his head is dominated by negative emotions.

In order to avoid this phenomenon, Berkman recommends the Buddhist concept.
In Buddhism, there is a technique in which negative emotions and thoughts are recognized without being suppressed, and the emotions are waited for.
This is a method developed by Shakyamuni 2500 years ago.
This is a technique that leads to the “mindfulness” mentioned several times in this blog.
Concentration improves by doing 20 minutes of meditation at a time 4 times a week

Don't have big dreams or goals

I think you often hear the words “set goals” and “have big dreams”.
But this is also counterproductive.
In this regard, the paper published by Harvard Business School in 2009 is famous.
According to this paper, strict goal setting narrows the field of view, lowers morality, and lowers motivation.
According to Berkman, most of the cases of climbing Everest are caused by “too much attention to target setting”.

Furthermore, people who are particular about setting goals are often not just “having dreams”, but simply “anxiety that they cannot see the future”.
This is also a problem.
The person's motivation is “anxiety”, so setting a goal will only limit creativity.

Don't try to enjoy work

It is often said that “Let's enjoy work with passion”, but it is a waste of effort to try to enjoy it even though it is not fun.
After all, the “polar bear rebound effect” occurs, and the boring work becomes more prominent.
If you really can't have a passion, you should first look closely at the “self who does n’t have a passion for work”.
And it's better to work “as it is”.
This is also an application of Shakyaku's technique.

Don't stick to self-esteem

The word “be confident” is a classic phrase for self-development, but many psychologists question the concept of “self-esteem” itself.
In the first place, people who are particular about their high self-esteem tend to fall into a mindless attitude.
Moreover, they tend to be mentally exhausted with efforts to maintain confidence.
The founder of logic therapy, Albert Ellis, calls self-esteem the “worst enemy to disturb emotions”.
And he says, “Think about whether each action was good or bad while separating actions and self”.

Don't avoid negative people

It is often said that “get away from negative people” and “do not bring a dream killer (a person who is negative to dreams) close to you”, but this is also a considerable misreading.

According to psychologist Dr. Julie Nolem, negative thinking is not necessarily bad.
This is because thinking about the worst condition reduces the anxiety about the future.
This is a phenomenon called “defensive pessimism”.
This technique was also used by ancient Greek philosophers such as Seneca and Epictetus.

“Defensive pessimism” is theorized by the name “Effectuation” in the business world.
According to the theory, it is better to first think about “how much you can withstand failure” than whether the business will be successful.

How to make practical use of this in your life

  • If you have a negative mood, let's just admit that feeling and thought. That feeling will eventually go away.
  • You don't have to be too particular about setting goals
  • If you are not passionate about your job, you do not have to try to be passionate. By the way, it is said that passion is not something you can have from the beginning, and often comes with nature as you continue to do things.
  • Let's make value judgments based on good or bad behavior, regardless of self-esteem.
  • Instead of avoiding negative people from yourself, learn the worst.

That's why I summarized the side effects of positive thinking.
But on the other hand, there are many studies that prove the benefits of a positive attitude.
What this book is attacking is the “adrenaline industry” that only raises the tension with dashing phrases and makes you feel temporarily able to do something amazing.
Please be careful not to be swayed by positives that have no scientific basis.

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