Positive Fantasizing

Ran across a great NY Times article by Gabriele Oettingen, a university professor of psychology. The title of her piece is "The Problem With Positive Thinking". Here are a few clips from the article.
"In each of these studies, the results have been clear: Fantasizing about happy outcomes — about smoothly attaining your wishes — didn't help. Indeed, it hindered people from realizing their dreams. Why doesn’t positive thinking work the way you might assume? As my colleagues and I have discovered, dreaming about the future calms you down, measurably reducing systolic blood pressure, but it also can drain you of the energy you need to take action in pursuit of your goals. ... Positive thinking fools our minds into perceiving that we've already attained our goal, slackening our readiness to pursue it."
I suggest you read the rest of the article here. It is a good read and speaks to ways to balance positive thinking with a dose of realism. If this peaks your interest you might be interested in optimism defined as Proactive Realism.


  1. Replies
    1. It really is Alice. I have always been a positive person but have always refused to embrace this kind of fantasy.

  2. I am going to go over and read more. Very interesting. I would have never thought that my positive thinking would hinder my goals!


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.