For some time now, we have been told to ďbe positive.Ē

 

ďYouíve got to be up,Ē weíve read.

 

ďYou donít want to be negative,Ē write a whole array of teachers, coaches, and pundits.

 

Norman Vincent Peale first extolled the seeming merits of positivity in his classic, The Power of Positive Thinking.

 

I saw the effect of this positive-think over and over again in the 90s when I saw people working hard at being perky and positive.† Each time I encountered someone determinedly working at being up, my gut kept screaming that something didnít feel right Ė and I still canít throw my hat in the ring with all the positive-thinking adherents.

 

Now, if youíre now surmising that I advocate negative thinking, youíd be wrong.† I donít advocate being negative any more than I do being positive.

 

Confused?

 

Well, let me explain where Iím coming from.

 

We all want to be positive, if for no other reason that it feels good.† Being positive certainly feels better than being negative, that Iíll readily concede.† So why am I against being positive?

 

Iím not.† What I donít advocate is either trying to be positive or feeling that we should be positive all the time.† Itís unnatural, for one, and inauthentic, for another.† Itís also not good for either your mental health or personal development.

 

In a natural state, we are never going to be positive all the time.† We will always have a natural ebb and flow in our emotions and moods.† Things will go well in our lives at times Ė and they will also not go well at others.† In fact, at any one time we are likely to have some things going well while some others may be less than desirable.† Our natural emotional flow will shift accordingly.

†††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† †††††††††††† (Continued)

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The Misguided Imperative to Be Positive

by Diane Brandon (Page 1 of† 4)

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