I couldn’t believe it this morning when I fired up my computer, went online and read this article that started out:
Is this endless pursuit of happiness just making us all miserable? We've said our affirmations, drunk coffee out of cheesy mugs with nonsensical motivational quotes like, "CLIMB AS HIGH AS YOU CAN DREAM!", and bought millions of tomes on getting rich quick while thinking positive thoughts.
Therein lies the problem, people are not pursuing happiness; they are pursuing wealth and material things in the misguided belief that it will bring them happiness.
Even the term “Pursuit of Happiness,” is wrong in my view. To pursue something means it is constantly ahead, just out of reach. You do not pursue something you already have in your hand.
You choose happiness; in simple terms, choose to be happy. You can do that whatever your circumstances; there is always someone worse off than you are.
What is the alternative, that we hide in a hole, cover our heads and wait for someone else to deliver us happiness on a plate? If a person finds they have cancer, should they give up hope and die, or fight it?
So many desperately seek relationships, thinking, “If I could find the perfect relationship, then I will be happy.” Choose happiness first and a person is more likely to find new friends and relationships. People gravitate towards upbeat and happy individuals; who wants to hang around with someone negative and miserable?
In her new book, Bright-Sided: How Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich calls positive thinking a "mass delusion." She argues that an unrelenting drive to train our brains to overlook problems and blame ourselves for failures has blinded us to inequality, incompetence, and stupidity.
I’ll buy that to a certain extent, it is the belief that all it takes is positive thinking to become immensely wealthy, that is wrong. Oprah Winfrey is criticized in a promo for the book, saying she is to blame for constantly pushing the positive thinking message.
Whether or not you are a fan of Ms. Winfrey is neither here nor there; no one can deny she came from a background of extreme poverty, and rose to the other extreme of success and wealth. She did it though sheer hard work and ambition, and what is ambition but positive thinking.
Oprah did not get where she is by negative thinking; it is only natural she pushes the positive thinking message. But if anyone thinks they can simply sit on their arse and think themselves wealthy, it is they who are delusional, not Oprah Winfrey.
I will never give up on keeping a positive outlook on life. I have never been happier than I am right now; I lead a simple existence, all my needs are fulfilled. What more can I ask for?
For a number of years I have held on to the belief that my life, my circumstances if you prefer, will constantly improve and never get worse. This has been the case.
I live my life by two simple rules:
1.) I try to hurt no one by thought, word or deed
2.) I take responsibility for my own happiness
Think about it, if everyone in the world lived by these two rules it would be the end to all problems. No one would get hurt, and everyone would be happy.
I would be interested to hear your views, but please don’t be like the article that prompted this piece, and put down positive thinking without putting forward an alternative better idea