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Screw Positive Thinking! Why Our Quest for Happiness Is Making Us Miserable


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, children, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, fashion, freedoms, government, media, politics, religion, society )

Kit
- 620 days ago - alternet.org
"Here's the thing that will change your life forever." Then he barks a single syllable -- "Cut!" -- and leaves a dramatic pause before completing his sentence: '... the word 'impossible' out of your life! Cut it out! Cut it out forever!"



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Comments

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 1:31 pm

I know - it is a long article but worth reading and giving some thought to these ideas. We can be positive thinkers without expensive motivational speakers.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 2:27 pm
I agree with you comment Kit, a wonderful post Thank you
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 3:40 pm
Very interesting. Imho it might be better to be engaged with life, with all it's ups and downs. I agree, "positive thinking" can seem narcissistic and can be dangerous.
 

Vicky P. (462)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 4:03 pm
of course, I'm not really a positive thinker, it's hard for me, and I really don't think a motivational speaker who would be paid a ton of money to speak at me can change that haha
 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:06 pm
WHAT A FUN READ !!! thanks Kit! I laughed away often while reading along and surely when I go to sleep tonight it will be with "new toughts of white bears, orange tanned old men and dubia", knowing it'll be all over when I wake up again-that's good to know.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:16 pm

Glad you liked it Angelika, I thought it was fun reading. I haven't paid for any motivational programming but I can't say I haven't been to one. I perhaps am not the best subject, I tend to question everything, including the basic logic. Imagine yourself as a white bear...oops, does that mean your a polar bear very tired of swimming? I think I'll pass on seeing GW at a motivational program.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 6:24 pm
Logging in to Care2 on a daily basis is enough motivational programming to me. ;-) But one thing is for sure: this guy O Burkeman is a very gifted writer!
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday December 9, 2012, 9:20 pm
Kahlil Gibran said "He who has never known sorrow can never know joy."
 

Cynthia Davis (340)
Monday December 10, 2012, 4:42 am
Very interesting read TY Kit
 

Gloria picchetti (286)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:31 am
Wow thank you Kit. Green Star to ya!
I agree with the article. I have posted to reviews to some self help books on my favorite shopping website. The review to a Christian book was taken down because some Christians have no tolerance for the truth. Now mind you I never, ever once denounced Jesus and The Holy Bible. I just hated the book that some preacher wrote.
Another book I reviewed is about making money. I hated it so much I asked some of my friends to read it to confirm my suspictions about the book. My friends hated it. The comments to my review are just crazy like completely wacko.
Another book I reviewed is about saving money by living like a pauper. Here again it's best not to tell the truth because so many people can't handle it.
BTW there are many, many self help books that I have enjoyed or at least enjoyed parts of them. It's pretty hard to stuff an entire soul, heart, and mind into one little bitty box!
 

Teri P. (106)
Monday December 10, 2012, 6:44 am
Thank you, Kit! Great read! These motivational speakers don't have any magic wand - our happiness and success are really based on our inner life, which no one can do for us. Fabulous material success, however, is like winning the lottery or being struck by lightning. Do these "motivational speakers" (Dubya? William Shatner? Robert [bankruptcy!] Schuller?) really mean to say that I will follow in their millionaire footsteps if I just listen to them and believe?? Please.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:04 am

I found this most amusing, attempting to find one solution that cures the ills of all of humanity is a lost search for non-answers. Each of us is unique, we may have similar problems, but we each see those difficulties from a different perspective.

I don't find Kahlil Gibran nor any one philosopher as having all the answers,, any more than motivational speakers. Though for those who do not wish to dig as deeply into philosophy Gibran does offer things for us to think about. He is perhaps a bit more "down to earth" than many others.

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.
Khalil Gibran


"When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
Khalil Gibran
 

Val R. (236)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:26 am
Love the Khalil Gibran quote - was a funny read - thanks.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:30 am
Robert Schuller, oh he of the Crystal Cathedral ministries. I thought they had fallen on hard times due to questionable accounting practices? This guy has been preaching the Silva Mind Control mantras for a long time. If you are really interested in the visualization techniques he's spouting off you could save yourself a lot of money and pick up a Silva Mind Control book at Amazon or a second hand bookstore.
Since when does an omnipotent; omniscient and omnipresent god need a crystal cathedral?
My friends, the answers are always inside yourself. Do yoga; do meditation; do Tai Chi or Chi Gong but don't fall for these guru wannabes. We work hard for our money as it is and in these economic times the only thing you are apt to do is to make people like Robert Schuller and the tax man richer. You need a certain amount of material items to live in this manifestation but when you transition to the next phase you soon find out it wasn't the one with the most toys or riches who wins. This life is an illusion that we maintain with our beliefs. Sorry, I'm digressing into physics. Have a nice day.
 

Mitchell D. (130)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:13 am
What was going on in that stadium was a money making gambit, borne on the backs of 15,000 sheep!
This is reminiscent of the bull in the book "The Secret," and similar junk psychology.
One reasonable way to happiness, about which I know, is to look at one's cravinvgs for things and realize that they are the cause of one's unhappiness: "I need a bigger car, house, boat, fancier clothes, etc.!"
Not that you just sit down and say, "Well, I guess it's all over," but that you focus on "being," rather than "needing."
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday December 10, 2012, 8:45 am

Back to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs? What we need or think we need does progress as society changes and technology offers more access to the world at large. Do you need a computer? In today's world the answer is probably yes, for many. It can be the roots of education, or just a tool for fun and entertainment, that like the choice to spend money on motivational seminars is a part of the human quest for happiness. So first we must isolate and define happiness. From my perspective, that definition is going to be very different for each person.
 

JL A. (275)
Monday December 10, 2012, 11:43 am
The family infighting for control after the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy makes a good read, too.
I automatically question anything that is a one size fits all approach to anything that involves sentient beings.
 

Joanne Dixon (38)
Monday December 10, 2012, 1:17 pm
So nice to read the comments and realize that there are still decent people not taken in by the psychopaths.
 

Lois Jordan (54)
Monday December 10, 2012, 2:00 pm
Nope, I never attended or paid for "motivational programming" either. My mom was my motivator for many years until her death....sometimes I still hear her words in my ears. Some of her best: "A Fool and Her Money Are Soon Parted."
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Monday December 10, 2012, 2:23 pm
Thanks Kit--great post.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Monday December 10, 2012, 5:54 pm
Thank you.
 

Gloria H. (88)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:01 pm
I tend to see the glass half empty with a dead fly floating in it. I express gratitude for having taken the time to look at the situation and the glass, and that I did not down the whole glass fly and all.
 

Kit B. (277)
Monday December 10, 2012, 7:10 pm

Thanks for the humor Gloria.
 

june t. (65)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 12:01 am
I saw a cartoon where a child says "It's not constant happiness I want anymore, now it's constant Euphoria!" Thanks for the article.
 

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Tuesday December 11, 2012, 11:21 am
That's the longest article I've ever read and got nothing from.
All stuff everyone already knows.
 

Sergio Padilla (62)
Wednesday December 12, 2012, 12:26 pm
Thanks
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Wednesday May 15, 2013, 9:17 pm
Noted, thanks.
 

Sheri J. (16)
Sunday December 1, 2013, 11:40 am
A teacher asked a student "What do you want to be when you grow up?". The student replied, "I just want to be happy."
 

Sheri J. (16)
Sunday December 1, 2013, 11:43 am
Whatever works for some may not work for others. Happiness is what everyone is aiming for.
 

Sheri J. (16)
Sunday December 1, 2013, 11:44 am
If you want to listen to a very positive motivational speaker, listen to "Les Brown" on youtube. I like his speech on "The Power of Giving". He also has an amazing and infectious feel good laugh.
 
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