Positive Thinking, Spiritual Cultivation and Meditation ... How Do They Fit Together?

Positive thinking is a topic that is always wrapped together with spiritual cultivation.

Let me give you my views on this topic -- optimism yes, perseverance yes, but don't lie to yourself about reality.

Dan Kennedy--famous copywriter and marketer--has worked with thousands of clients from all walks of life with all sorts of project and has this to say about this topic:

I've had more conversations than I care to count with my students, clients, customers, peers, and friends about "positive thinking." Through it all, I've come to the conclusion that at least 95% of the people who think they're positive thinkers actually have no idea what positive thinking is all about.

Too many people think it's some kind of mystical, magical shield from the real world. They believe that if they just think positive, bad things cannot happen to them. If something bad happens to somebody, they say: "See, you weren't thinking positively." But it just doesn't work that way. You can think positive until you are turning blue from the effort, but you'll still run into obstacles from time to time. People who believe that positive thinking is supposed to keep the bogeyman away eventually wind up frustrated, discouraged critics of positive thinking.

Being a positive thinker does not mean that you should refuse to acknowledge the way things are. In fact, people succeed in business, sales, and marketing by dealing with "what is," not "What ought to be." The true positive thinker acknowledges potential and existing negative circumstances and reactions, and engineers a plan to overcome them, to achieve positive results.

Ad-man and marketer Gary Halbert also once said, "Nothing has done more damage to people than the concept of positive thinking. I believe in it but it has gotten to the point where people will attempt crazy, impossible, suicidal business feats because of wishful thinking and lack of common sense."

Yes positive thinking is helpful on the road of cultivation. It's helpful to keep yourself motivated, too, but don't lie to yourself. Don't put sugar on reality and don't fall into the unrealistic "love the whole way around" crowd. Recognize the problems, challenges and hurdles, but create a plan to work through them -- or simply handle them as they come -- and stick to disciplined perseverance.

That's true positive thinking. Positive thinking really means, "keep on trucking with positive action. Stay with it, keep on going."

Most people adopt the wrong idea that positive thinking is some sort of instant magic quick fix to drive away problems or prevent what's confronting them this moment. Even if it could work, of course it would not work instantly because the fortune you are experiencing is brought about by the thoughts and actions you have been doing for awhile!

If it takes an ocean liner a couple of miles to execute a 90-degree turn because of the momentum, and if a moving car cannot instantly be brought to a halt, how can positive thinking deliver instant results? It may be part of the picture to changing your fortune, but all it is going to do is keep you courageous at persevering in finding a solution to your problems.

To alter your fate or situation, you must not only have a firm plan in mind, but must have ambition. Only ambition will help you overcome laxity, sloth and laziness to vigorously act in a direction which will bring fortune to fruition. Vigorous action, and not just positive thinking, is what you need to get ahead in life. Therefore you must "plan your work and work your plan," and remain determined in your approach to create whatever future it is you desire.

First you must help yourself by "seeking fortune for yourself" and then heaven will help; if you first help yourself, then others will help. That's what Ben Franklin always said ... one of my heroes.

Remember to also take into account the following true story. The founder and President of one of the largest motivational and personal development companies in the US had a sign behind his office door that read, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh**." People used to think that was cynical for the President of a motivational business, but when asked about the sign the President said,

"Inexperienced, ignorant and foolish people commonly confuse realism with cynicism."

Let that be the lesson to you to increase your wisdom stores, and be pragmatic. Being optimistic and pragmatic is the right way.

So take the first step and continue down the road of self-help knowing that you're creating a new future and outcome in life. That's true positive thinking. It's taking the right steps, doing what must be done to get the results you want, and keeping your eye on the target while recognizing the obstacles ahead and yet surmounting them when they arise.

Good luck.


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