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Wishful Thinking vs Positive Thinking / Affirmations vs Action

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

When I was in Australia I would hear many people say to me "I wish I was like you". 

After a while I began to ask them "What? The pizza and icecream I cannot touch, the tuna and rice I have to eat every 2 hours, the TV I do not watch as I have to go to exercise 3 hours a day, the relationships I lost from girlfriends not understanding the big picture? What exactly is it you wish to be like?"

Are you wishing you had the ideal life or are you enacting it? 

Luckily for me I take a 'perverse' pleasure in making my life difficult in return for hoped for future payoffs, like spending time in the gym and learning about diet to get bigger in the hope that with other skills I can leverage this into a market niche as an actor that will help get me a part in a large studio movie as the main bad guy - one day., possibly.

There are some mistakes though, I have made these when I was younger, hopefully you can avoid them:

Wishful Thinking 

I see too many people who spend life wishing for things. They wish they could win the lottery, they wish they could get a nice new job, they wish their kids would go to University, they wish they had more money, they wish and wish.... somewhat like a child wishing Santa Claus will bring a new pushbike for Christmas.

These people are wishing thier lives away, and we all do it at sometime in our lives, but there comes a time when we need to grow.

The first step from wishful thinking for most people comes when they come in contact with personal development for the first time. Whether through an Amway meeting, through a book, or through a lecture or seminar held by someone such as Anthony Robbins or Bob Proctor.

Many of these people then learn the basics for improving their lives.

Positive Thinking and Affirmations

The next step is usually that they (and I) learn the Power Of Positive Thinking and the Magic Of Affirmations. These are commonly presented by less knowledgable lecturers as the magic bullet to turn your life around - rubbish. It is a starting point and can be a very important one but it is not the total solution.


Positive Thinking means to only think of good things and good outcomes. Everytime you catch yourself with a bad thought you stop it, and replace it with a good thought, then ACTION it.


For example you are thinking about the surprise meeting with the Boss tomorrow. You do not know what it is about but he has called you in first thing in the morning. Many people would think, what did I do wrong, did he catch me doing x? What additional work is he going to lump on me? Positive thinking would replace the above thoughts with I have been doing my job well, he must be giving me a raise! Not surprisingly if you prepare for a fight then you'll often likely get one.


Positive Thinking alone can be a major factor in life improvement  for many people. Those who worry constantly, those who constantly look for the faults and problems in life do benefit greatly from this simple paradigm shift.


It tends to happen the more you think about bad things the more they tend to happen - or as one proverb I heard at an Amway meeting;

"In a Gold Mine you can find gold or you can find dirt, it depends upon what you are looking for" 

Keeping positive thoughts in mind keeps your outlook and your personality more positive too. This will lead to greater happiness. Think about it. If you spend your time concentrating upon all the bad things in life how are you going to feel? If you spend time with good thoughts and good things seem to always happen - how are you going to feel?

Positive Thinking goes one step further. Look for the good in each situation. For example say your car breaks down and you have to walk to an important business meeting. You could curse and swear and lose your temper, get angry and in a huff and storm into the office 30 minutes late and full of venom - how do you think that meeting will go? OR you could think maybe there is a reason for this. What could that reason be? Maybe later you find out there was a traffic jam ahead and you would have been stuck for hours, or you walk the street and find a great special on a home appliance that you have been needing, or maybe you meet an old friend on the way, or a new friend. If you look for the good in a situation you can always find something.

Affirmations are an extension of Postive Thinking. Affirmations are when you make little sayings to say to yourself everyday, some people have their affirmations posted all around the house so that they continually read them. Affirmations are sayings such as "every day in every way my health grow stonger and stronger" or "money flows to me". This is taking Positive thoughts into the future, you think of the positive things that will happen for you. Again this is a good reprograming tool if you are very negative and down about your life and future prospects but it will not save you, but it can help get you on a more productive path.

Often being forced into a difficult situation is what that makes people look for a solution that they would not have formulated as previously they were too complacent. You often see this when someone unexpectedly gets laid off from their job. You see them just after and they are doom and gloom initially. 4 weeks later you bump into them again, they are happy as Larry. Upon enquiring you find that they now have a better job, closer to home, in a more senior position and the pay is fantastic.

"One door closes, another one opens." 

Now the problem with Positve Thinking is that people start to believe in it like magic. I once heard Anthony Robbins said Positive Thinking only works when you do something about it. Thinking that the grass in the yard is short won't do anything.

This is another problem I see all the time with the Self Development Seminar Junkies. They believe that  just thinking Positive about a problem makes it go away. Dellusional is the word that describes this belief.

There is one thing and one thing only that will make your life better and brighten your future prospects...


That's right getting off your butt and doing something about it.

The above tools - Positive Thinking and Affirmations are a step towards conditioning yourself to action.  After years of thinking Positive Thoughts and saying Affirmations you should have reprogramed yourself into becoming the sort of person who is positively motivated to become successful.

The person who is successful is someone who takes action.

Nothing is going to happen if you sit in front of the TV and think about getting your goals, but if you get out and do something about it THEN things will come to you.

If you make your goals a consuming passion, if you spend all your time chasing the things you love then you will achieve your goals, it might take a while and you will probably have a lot of obstacles in the way but keep your mind on your goals and you will eventually gain them. Even if it takes 20 years at the end would you give it up and go back and live a life you were not happy with.

Here are a few thoughts from some famous people regarding action: 

"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit" - Conrad Hilton

"It is possible to achieve your life's dreamif you so desire. Simply take action" - Anthony Robbins

"Get off your.... chair and take action. Why do you think I called my company Action International?" - Brad Sugars 

 "Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes" - Washington Irvine

Are you a wishful thinker, a positive thinker, or are you an action man?  


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