It was in the 1930s that the concept of positive thinking as a tool to success was first introduced to the world. Since then, much has been said and written about the importance of maintaining a positive mental attitude. Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is defined as the “philosophy that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one’s life attracts positive changes and increases achievement.”
Positive self-talk and affirmations are touted as some of the key concepts used by business people and athletes to stay focused on their goals. PMA is so ingrained into some of us that we do not hesitate to dish out that familiar line of advice to our distressed neighbours, “Be Positive.” Critics of this theory, however, say that positive thinking is not the secret of success, but only the result of success.
In his characteristic style, Sadhguru debunks theories and philosophies, questioning the need to classify situations as positive or negative instead of seeing them just the way they are.
Sadhguru: The more you try to be positive, the more you will become negative. The nature of the mind is such that if you say, “I don’t want this,” only that will happen in your mind. Isn’t it so? Now, if you say, “I don’t want the negative,” only that will happen. Why are you talking about positive or negative at all? Why do you want to look at things this way? Why don’t you look at every situation the way it is, accept it the way it is, and see what is the best you can do about it? A situation is neither positive nor negative. Don’t try to develop attitudes and philosophies. Why can’t you just be here, without any specific attitude? Without any philosophy? Just aware. Simply aware.
Every situation demands a different kind of response, isn’t it? If you develop attitudes of positive thinking or what not, it may work well in one situation. But in another kind of situation you will do stupid things, because you have a prejudiced idea that you have to be in a certain way. If you go on thinking positive at the wrong place, the worst things may happen to you, isn’t it? So there is no need to be positive. There is no need to be negative, either. Just be aware. If you are aware, you will perceive a situation just the way it is. When you perceive a situation the way it is, you can act to the best of your intelligence and capability. It is as simple as that. Don’t get into prejudiced action.