Are you tired of hearing people tell you to just "stay positive" when life kicks you in the teeth and all you want is to cry? Are you fed up with reading self-help books that promise to help resolve your life problems, when in reality all they advice you is to "keep a positive mindset" and do nothing more?

If so, I'm sure my new article will resonate with you. It's titled "The Bullshit Philosophy of Positive Thinking" — and for a good reason. I wrote it because, like you, I'm done with all the bullshit the self-help industry is trying to sell us and so many people fall for. My aim behind writing it is to dispel the myth of "positive thinking", and to show how we can effectively deal with our problems, not by negating them — as the philosophy of positive thinking urges us to do — but by accepting them.




Illustration by Jim Cooke

“Just think positively and all your problems will vanish into thin air. Don’t care about taking action to create the life you want – just sit where you are and visualize with positive intent that everything’s going to be alright.”

This is the philosophy that many self-help coaches, authors and so-called spiritual teachers are preaching. It has been named “positive thinking” and is selling pretty well, considering that the positive thinking industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.

But what if I told you that it’s total bullshit?

You might be thinking: “What the hell, Sofo, have you gone crazy? Your entire blog is about how to overcome suffering and live a better life – in other words, about how to let go of the negative and experience the positive – and now you are telling me that positive thinking is bullshit?”

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you. But before you’re too quick to judge, let me explain myself.

Shutting Your Eyes Won’t Make Your Problems Disappear

If you look at life without the filters of ideology, you will see that it contains both positive and negative realities: There’s pleasure and pain, love and hate, peace and war, and so on and so forth.

According to the philosophy of positive thinking, however, we shouldn’t think about the negative side of life, and, in fact, we should pretend that it doesn’t even exist. This way, we are told, we won’t be affected by it. Not only that; if we don’t think about it and instead focus on the positive side, the negative will go away just like that.

“Don’t worry about the starving children in Africa. Just pray for them and they will be alright.”

“Don’t worry about rising sea levels, environmental pollution, and biodiversity loss. Just keep a positive mindset and our planet will recover from all the damage that has been inflicted on it.”

“Don’t worry about your job that you hate or your relationships that are messed up. Just visualize that you’re already living the life of your dreams and you will soon find the ideal partner and the perfect career.”

Needless to say, positive thinking won’t do a damn thing about all the above. The African children will keep on dying in millions from starvation, our planet will keep on being harmed, and your life will keep on sucking. In fact, things will get even worse. By not paying our problems any attention and actually doing something to resolve them, with time they are bound to become more and more complicated and hence increasingly affect us and the world we live in.


“Look, here’s the little trick I use that makes all my problems disappear.” —Master Positive Thinker

To give you an analogy, positive thinking is like being in a house that’s on fire, while trying to convince yourself that everything’s OK, believing that this way the fire is going to disappear. Of course, the fire will keep on burning and growing wilder until it eventually consumes the entire house and yourself along with it.

That’s why I call positive thinking a bullshit philosophy: Not only doesn’t it work, it’s counterproductive too – that is, it creates the exact opposite results of what it seeks. The question, then, is why do so many people buy into it?

The Appeal of Positive Thinking

Somewhere I read the following profound words:

“Do not be afraid to accept ugly truths, and never be afraid to reject beautiful lies.”

Unfortunately, the wide majority of us (and by “us” I mean “humans”) doesn’t hesitate for a moment to accept lies that are beautiful and reject truths that are ugly. That’s because ugly truths remind us of serious life problems that we need to resolve, and to do so we need to go through a lot of hardship and pain. And who likes to experience hardship and pain?

No one (well, except masochists, I guess).

So we tend to avoid facing our problems. And what’s the best way to do so? To not look at them at all, in a desperate effort to fool ourselves that they don’t exist.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that so many people buy into the (bullshit) philosophy of positive thinking. They want to hear beautiful lies that will make them feel that everything’s alright, and hence that they needn’t stress about anything. And since we are living in a world where money is the ruling force, of course there are going to be some cunning individuals who are willing to sell positive thinking and exploit others’ insecurities for their financial gain.

Personally, through my writing I like to state the truth as it is, even if it’s at times terribly ugly. I know that many of you — my readers — might be put off by it, but I also know that this is the only way to face our problems and deal with them, on a personal and a collective level. So if you’re a long-time fan of The Unbounded Spirit, I’d like to take a moment to praise you for being such a badass reader and a committed seeker of truth.

you are awesome-Bill Murray

From Positive Thinking to Realistic,
Action-Based Thinking

Imagine you are chronically ill, suffering from a painful, debilitating disease. You can pretend all you want that your disease isn’t serious, and have faith that you’ll soon recover to good health, without doing anything to treat your condition. However, in reality this will do nothing to help you heal — your disease will keep on being there, and chances are that it will be worsening as you age.

Now imagine that you, instead, decided to let a doctor have a look at you and tell you what is the underlying cause of your disease and how to treat it. The doctor might inform you that the treatment involves some pain — it could be that you need surgery or to take a heavy dose of medication with possible side effects. But you know that, no matter the extra pain you may undergo during the treatment, in the end it will be worth it. That’s because afterwards you’ll be relieved of the chronic pain caused by your disease, while the additional pain caused by the treatment will only be temporary. So you decide to treat your disease, and get back to being healthy.

Like in the above example, if we wish to overcome our life problems, then we need to do something about them. By that I don’t mean to merely repeat positive affirmations in our minds and wish that all is going to be perfectly fine. Rather, I mean to stand up from our chairs, roll up our sleeves and take concrete action. But first we need to accept our problems, instead of denying them, as the philosophy of positive thinking urges us to do. We need to look at them in the eye, examine why they are there, and search for ways to effectively deal with them.

Of course, this can be quite a tough thing to do. To admit that something is wrong with our lives is a bitter pill to swallow. And to change it might require painstakingly hard work. But, whether we like it or not, there’s no other way to go about it. Either we work our problems out and suffer for a short while, or we ignore them and suffer for as long as we’re alive.

Views: 226

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Yes I agree, I have his DVD's  that is what its all about. Rewiring the brain from negative thinking..

It's a beaut and I love that the good Dr and with his science, can get over the divisions between belief systems.

I did not see it the way the Author does, in fact the opposite to be positive is being negative, being positive and having a goal in your mind will get you want you want, if you work at it....being negative and doing nothing will achieve nothing..plenty of people with that attitude are around.

All true, my gripe is with those that use it to shield themselves from the lessons we cross.  If one is unable to honour their emotions which can and probably will be judged as negative (by their onlooker/s). 
I find if I honour my emotions, it is much easier to move through the muck. When I feel sad, I let that sit as long as it needs to be there as I do with any emotion that comes up.  When I see something that moves my heart, I sit with that too.  The result is these thoughts and processes are no longer scary to me, they can be warnings to me or messages about my environment.  I can watch these processes come and go without being fearful of them.

Hope this makes sense.  We are pretty positive people here for the record.

There must be balance for this kid

Yes it makes perfect sense Rose.

Our emotions are there to be used. If we feel trippy dippy hippy happy 24/7 something is wrong with the program. It's how we deal  with those feelings that counts.

We have an apathy issue in NZ. We don't get sad or angry often enough and when we do we often don't channel those emotions into positive action.

I was having a chat with Peter The Sand Artist yesterday, he's now into poetry and we were talking about this very thing. Dealing with negative feelings positively!

Thanks for your words Martin.  

In NZ we certainly are apathetic but I wonder how much of that is coming from drugs in the sky poisons


So agree Rose, only thought that this morning on my daily many people have already had Stomach Flu, including me, gastroenteritis the official name, and its caused by a Virus, I have not eaten out, and stranger still my daughter in law had it, same symptoms, and I have not been to their house or eaten with them...many other people already have that coughing bug as well, and we have not even gone into winter yet. I think they are spraying us with all sorts of bacteria and Viruses... 

Jennifer, I'm sorry to hear that.  The coughing bug has been a huge success here in NZ. In NZ half the population went down with a coughing 'bug' that successfully laid up folk for a minimum of a month.  One friend told me yesterday that he has went from coughing to, pneumonia to pleurisy.  Jules  is from the UK (living in NZ) and is blaming his growing up in the UK for his weakened lungs.
Given that the UK has at least 60% less sunlight than they did 60 years ago...

There are various reasons for infections leading to pneumonia. The most common as given by the NHS (National Health Service) UK are:

  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Viral pneumonia
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Fungal pneumonia

It is too easy to float these things in our air.

For the record, some of us here expect they will turn the fire season on for NZ, as practised in the US and in Christchurch NZ last year. 

Slow depopulation in action, also read a report that intelligence has had a big drop in young children (USA report) could not find the original but found this:

I would say that the chemtrails laid are all part of their agenda


From the US:

Flu killed 80,000 people this past season (if you can belive a CDC Satistic when they are Vaccine pushing)  and put 900,000 into the hospital, making it the worst influenza season in decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

And the stupidity continues 

FluMist vaccine approved by CDC without proof it works

Story HighlightsThe CDC recommended against using the live nasal spray FluMist vaccine for the previous two “flu seasons” due to its ineffectiveness against the H1N1 strain.The CDC has done an about-face for the 2018-2019 “flu season” and is back to recommending FluMist again.The CDC’s new recommendation to use FluMist is not backed by proof that the new formulation of FluMist works as advertised.In February 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC...
Read full article at website »


© 2019   Created by rose.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service