I remember reading “The Secret” last year and thinking America is being pummeled with lots of horse shit. I quote this book a lot, not because of my love for positive thinking, but to appease my amusement and the need to satirize the ridiculous.
In summary, the book says you need two things to succeed in life: positive imagery and entitlement. So if you want that promotion at work, all you have to do is just REALLY think about it, but don’t just REALLY think about it you need to PRETEND that you already have it- and it will come to you. Dave Chappelle has a funny commentary about that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbS9jZOlQjc
Not to say I disagree with the content – on the contrary, given the choice, I would rather see the rose than the thorn. Be the king than the servant. But positing positivity OVER negativity is delusional, blurring the line between relief and happiness. It is, at best, as useful as putting bandaid on a fresh, scalding gunwound. Or as effective as closing one’s eyes to command the tears against falling.
If I were to publish a self-help book, I would take this to other end of the court. I would title it “How to plunge deeper into shit”, highlighting the power of negative thinking: savory and addictive, like sex. The assignment is for the next 4 weeks, you do NOTHING but indulge on your insecurities. Dip yourself daily into self-loathing and doubts, questioning all your motives, relinquish all your hard-ons about life. Keep asking ‘what ifs’, never leaping without checking what or who is going to catch you. In fact, don’t leap at all. Everyone is born with winning talents at this – so go out and be a champ at it.
After 4 weeks of self flagellating in a cesspool of your mind-fucking, you will learn the only zen-like truth: you are but a slave to your thoughts. You can be conditioned to be afraid of even the most benign, harmless things, such as talking to fellow human beings. Dreading social faux pas like you would be punched in the face at the end of exchange. That is a laughable and pitiful phobia, yet real; it has such bona fide grip on so many people. Unless you are physically assaulted or the basic need is not being meet, most of your woes are but a product of your mind. And while the world is standing still, serving us nothing but fairness, your experiences are felt differently based on how you shift your mindset.
And funny, how the message will be exactly same as preached through ‘The Secret’.
The moral is that being too positive is just as unhealthy as being too negative. We should learn to enjoy the gifts of both. Don’t be afraid to really examine ourselves and find faults. Don’t look away because you don’t like what you see. They are integrated so deep in us that keeps life, if not easy, at least interesting. I love being happy, but sometimes it just feels too good to not just plunge into shit.