Monday, December 05, 2011

Positive mindset vs possibility mindset

I was reading this book by Dr. Robert Anthony "How to make the impossible possible", when I discovered that the author actually differentiate between positive mindset and possibility mindset . We know the usual positive thinking - if we think positive, then the outcome can also be positive. This is opposed to thinking negatively about a situation. But I've always wondered about the limitations of having a positive mindset and the book addresses exactly that problem.

I thought that if I think hard enough, will things really happen? For example, if I 'will' a book to move, will it really do so, even if I'm ultra positive about it? To the majority who don't have special powers, I guess the book is going to stay there. So there is a limitations to how much positive thinking can do to us. It's like if you never study hard for your exams, no matter how positive you are about it, you probably wouldn't do very well in it, unless you're a genius. You can ever call such a person naive, or overconfident. Positive thinking can make a person in denial of the actual situation.

Now what is possibility thinking? That is when you think that things are possible in the first place. For example, if you think that the book is going to move, having a possibility mindset means that you know that the book is not going to move on its own (though it's possible to move it), so you're going to move your butt and move it yourself. Or if you know that sitting for a test without studying isn't going to work but it's within the realm of possibility to pass and even to ace it if you just start working hard on it. Having a possibility mindset essentially entails that things are possible, if you are willing to do it. This mindset takes into account of reality and places power in your hands, because only you alone can change an impossible situation and make it possible.

It's a subtle difference but it makes all the difference to me. So actually, when I referred to having a positive mindset in the past, I'm really talking about having a possibility mindset - an attitude in life that views that things are possible if you are willing to take actions to do it. I'm not saying that having a positive mindset is not good - it's just not good enough. A possibility mindset allows you to think that something that you deem impossible is possible in the first place, and then forces you to address on how to achieve it.

Here's more examples:

So are you ready to take on the world? Haha :)


Singapore Man Of Leisure said...

Now then you tell me!

I knew something is missing when I tried praying to Guan Yin Ma before taking my O' levels...

Why would Guan Yin Ma encourage my "tikum tikum" mentality!?

I reap what I sow. And all the positive dreaming in the world can't help me if I too lazy or too cheap even to buy the seeds!

Can I blame you now?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lp,
That's why Christians believe in : "God help those who help themselves"
You have to move your "butt" before anything can happen lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi LP,

Positive and possibility thinking were what I embraced and am wary I still bring it to my class now.

Here are some scriptures that remind me:

"Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain." (Psalm 127:1)

My frd always remind me, teach your students to work hard not work smart! (haha- so hard for me)
"All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." (proverb 14:23)

Instead of my psychology 101 to motivate the low self esteem:-

"what is mankind that you are mindful of them,human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor." (psalm 8:4-5)

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (Genesis 1:26)

But without the reference; I am often over-critical or over-laxed of myself.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Roman 3:23)

Thankfully, I have a new boss :)
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)

A frd first shared this:

"Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." (proverb 30:8)

My sis, a non believer then, said "easy to ask God to not give me poverty but rare to have one who do not want riches"

"Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." (proverb 30:9)

A few of my students said they want to study "psychology! as it works!", so I believed my msg is not so clear. :( I still unconsciously promote self n pride. hm. k long post. :)

May the blessings of peace and joy be upon you and all!