We live in a competitive world. Everyone wants to succeed and not fail. Everyone operates under a constant pressure striving not to fail.
People get stressed out. They are told to be positive and think good etc. But its easy to give advice - even easier when someone does not know what it really means, and I think the 'be positive' is one advice which sounds good, but most people dont know what it means.
I too did not know. Its difficult to be positive when everything is going wrong. And then when someone comes and gives unsolicited advice on 'be positive man' ! you feel like strangulating that @#$@.
So, what the heck is it all about ? How does one succeed ? We see people succeeding and we think - " hey - I can also do that - but I dont succeed ! Why is that?".
It takes some different approach to think positive. And I first realized it when I read an anectodal story some while back. I dont remember where i read it or what was the title, but this is how it went.
A couple of kids were playing on a tree under the watchful eyes of their parents, when all of a sudden, it became windy. The kids were caught unawares and got disbalanced , but somehow managed to cling on to the branches. Both the parents shouted encouragments for them to bear out the gust of wind. However one of them fell down, and the other did not.
The difference was that the one who did not fall heard his parent say "Hold on!" while the other one had shouted "Don't fall". Though both are saying the same thing - the first is a positive statement, the 2nd a negative one. And our mind, to work on a negative statement works the other way round. So, the mind processes the info as 'Fall-dont'.
Ah ! you say ! (At least I did ! )
It makes more sense if you think in hindi. 'Don't fall' becomes 'Girna mat'. So, the mind first thinks of falling and by the time it is through with the translation its sometimes too late to realize that the meaning was just the opposite.
And that is all there is to being positive. It is not about thinking good thoughts. Its about thinking winning thoughts. A person who thinks "I should not fail" is more likely to fail than a person who thinks "I should pass". Its a subtle difference but it works.
On my bike rides, i have had a couple of falls and scores of near misses. Whenever I have fallen the thought process has been something like "Oh shit! I am going to fall" and the next thing I know I am on the ground. And there have been lots of places where the mind says "No" to a fall, and miraculously I dont fall - even though I was in much worse situations than where I had the fall.
Think about it. Remember it. Dont put negative words in postitive statements - you will be more likely to fail.
And that is all that it really is. Its just a mind game you have to master.
Here are a few things to show the comparison
- I am not good enough vs I can be better
- I may not succeed vs I may succeed
- I am going to crash vs I am going to survive ( notice here its a reversal of the thoughts).