The Limits of Positive Thinking

I can only come up with one. It’s not clever to endure a difficult situation that could be changed and only repeat to oneself: »It’s fine. It’s fine. It could be worse.« Some situations cannot be changed, that’s true. All one can do in such cases is get used to it. However, there are situations that CAN be changed and those are the times to take action in addition to positive thinking.

Let me give you an example.

I had some lines from Louise Hay’s book hanging on a wall I was facing while sitting at my desk in my office, where I used to work:
»In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. My unique creative talents and abilities flow through me and are expressed in deeply satisfying ways. There are people out there who are always looking for my services. I am always in demand and can pick and choose what I want to do. I earn good money doing what satisfies me. My work is a joy and a pleasure. All is well in my world.« (Louise Hay: You Can Heal Your Life. Hay House: 2008. Page 108.)

To be honest none of the upper lines were true for my job back then, except the one about earning good money. I knew that these lines are meant as an affirmation. They say something about our future. First we talk about it and then the reality changes. We have to speak in present tense, otherwise the affirmations always remain in the future, which means they never become reality. I knew all that. But it still felt odd, because I saw no better future for me. I was certain that I would never find a satisfying job, since no one else would hire a mental patient. I had gotten the job at that office, because the employer knew me personally and felt sorry for me having schizoaffective disorder.

Still, I kept reading the affirmations and with years I started believing that it was possible for me to have a satisfying job.

Nevertheless it took more than positive thinking to really give notice, when the time was right to do that. It took courage. No matter how many times I had read the upper lines, sometimes also aloud (when I was alone), the letter of resignation still had to be written by myself. The universe provided a financial opportunity to quit the job — I could become a financially supported wife, since my husband started earning enough to cover our basic expenses. But I still had to write and post the letter.

When the time is right to take action, you take action. You do not write on your wall: “Somebody else will do it for me.” Positive thinking provides the right requirements for happiness, but when the time is right, you still have to take action.

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