What’s wrong with the positive thinking industry…


The positive thinking industry wants you to be exclusively happy and rich without the slightest speck of sorrow or scarcity in your lives. The new age western gurus are bent upon making you happiness-seekers and wealth-seekers.

Our culture is not about frantically seeking happiness. It is about being at ease with happiness and sorrow. Our culture is not about amassing material goodies and creating a clutter. It is about simple living and high thinking.

The book ‘Secret’ and similar success books are full of materialistic promises (how else it would sell?) and has only made people more consumeristic. Nor has it taught people how to handle the fall outs of the excessive riches that could manifest in their lives (if and when the techniques they teach work out..)

These books do have a few worthwhile truths but more prominently it has a dangerous side to it. You should know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Learn to take the useful from this new age self-help industry but don’t be unduly brainwashed by it.

Do you know happiness and enthusiasm lies in embracing uncertainty and insecurity and not in our frantic efforts to make ourselves rich and certain and secure (that which the industry is promising) ? If everything is certain and secure, life is comfortable and boring. If everything is little certain – little uncertain, then life is exciting and driven… thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai… That’s an ideal state.

Do you know that too much goal setting can make you already weak in your knees? An archer who looks too long at the target already loses confidence. He is too busy thinking rather than shooting. The best of chefs are not too goal oriented. They begin with what they have in the refrigerator and create an awesome dish out of it rather than decide a dish and plan the ingredients, shop for them and then make the dish. The spontaneity is already lost in the whole planning process.

Do you see that sadness and failure are a part and parcel of life? How can you just banish them with a ten-point positive thinking plan? Learn to acknowledge sadness and failure and feel them fully. Don’t drown them deeper into your subconscious by a set of affirmations and contrary visualizations. No person who understands psychology and the science of emotional intelligence would advocate such an approach. All the emotional mess is simply because you are busy drowning it all out.

America is the source and the biggest consumer of new age self-help age books but the quality of life in the country has only gone from bad to worse.. Has the self-help movement really worked? One study says that self-help books are repeatedly bought only by those whose have bought it before. Do you see what it means?

Across the world, there are now enough dissenters and enough research work to disqualify the tall claims the marketing-savvy self-help westerners make. I am absolutely in favour of the organic natural optimism, forgiveness and gratitude that comes from within but an externally imposed unnatural set of techniques , can do more harm than good (unless you know how to use it with awareness)

A mouse that sees a cat running into him, needs to sprint and save his life. An affirmation and a positive visualization at this time can only cost him his life. Spend time with me learning how to get the best out of the positive thinking industry without yielding to its flip side. What use is a solution if it creates a fresh set of problems? Learn how to use positive thinking to your advantage rather than your disadvantage.

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