Think Negative!

You probably heard of the latest stupid craze in America, “The Secret“. It is a book/film that suggests positive thinking to achieve what you want — a book heavily promoted by Oprah. For example, if you want a parking spot here and now, all you have to do is be optimistic about it and visualize it with your head, and voila, it would be there. It’s like having your average 30-year old housewife mastering the power of the String Theory to bend space and time.

Of course, that’s all gibberish. The trend promotes nothing but a modern twist on superstitions!

Personally, I am a pessimist, and this reflects on my review articles (one of the reasons that some of my readers don’t like me). In fact, I often find optimistic people naive. You see, there is a 50-50 chance that a specific bad thing will or won’t happen. I prefer to believe that it will happen, just so when and if it happens, I would be prepared for it and my world won’t collapse. That’s the way I protect myself. The problem with pessimism though is that it can lead to depression. I am often depressed. But at least I am not naive.

12 Comments »

moleskine wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 3:23 AM PST:

Well, it is not so simple. People are either one or the other. You can’t really be 100% neutral. It’s impossible, unless you are in a coma.

We’ll have to agree to disagree, then. It is that simple, in fact. Nothing can protect us from “happenings”. But happenings are simply life with no preconditions, and by attaching labels of good/bad, safe/scary to happenings we build a little fantasy world for ourselves. Life doesn’t care and has no such labels. Dropping the labels could be the scariest thing or all. Or it could mean freedom. You will be able to deal with what happens, as and when it happens. How would life look if you acted as though you already had faith in that notion?


Tom Dison wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 3:59 AM PST:

What is funny to me is to watch people driving around forever trying to get 10 feet closer to the door. I intentionally park further out for the health of the walk. By the time these “positive” gas wasters get parked, I’m already in the store shopping.

That sounded a little negative, didn’t it!


l3v1 wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 6:17 AM PST:

“The problem with pessimism though is that it can lead to depression. I am often depressed. But at least I am not naive.”

I don’t really like – not that’d matter anyway – the attitude that optimistic==naive. Additionally, there really is a middle way, and it’s called realistic. You don’t need to be a faithful pessimist or optimist to get along, that protect myself sh*t goes more along the depression line.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 7:48 AM PST:

>protect myself sh*t

It is not shit, I am offended. It is how I am. I have gone through enough bad things in my life to be careful of what I wish for. I did not become a pessimist for no reason you know.


RandomGuy wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 8:20 AM PST:

Hey, I’m a pessimist, too.
It rules because, no matter how a situation works out, I can always say one of the following:

a) Shit happens, I told you!
b) Ok, I’m happy that I was wrong.

And in either case, I’m not feeling too bad.

It’s also fun to scare the retards who believe negative thinking screws the world… ;-)


mikesum32 wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 8:34 AM PST:

Nevea ‘eard ov it gubna.

I also don’t watch Oprah.


moleskine wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 9:33 AM PST:

A congenital pessimist is just as superstitious as a congenital optimist: one loads the dice against and one loads the dice in favour. Things happen in their own way and in their own time, and usually there’s not much we can do to force the issue. Indeed thinking that you can force the issue is essentially childish – world and self not fully separate – so the objection to Oprah’s brand of “Jesus found me a parking spot” is that such attitudes are infantile. Cultivate faith that when stuff happens you will be able to deal with it. Then you can leave the pessimism/optimism game behind.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 9:55 AM PST:

I agree with you that either is stupid, but at least I am a pessimist because I *need* to be one. As I said, it is how I protect myself from bad happenings.

>Then you can leave the pessimism/optimism game behind.

Well, it is not so simple. People are either one or the other. You can’t really be 100% neutral. It’s impossible, unless you are in a coma. :P


chris wrote on May 18th, 2007 at 10:35 AM PST:

>For example, if you want a parking spot here and now, all you
>have to do is be optimistic about it and visualize it with
>your head, and voila, it would be there.

LOL!!! my wife believes the same #$$%^^&** every time we return to home and we are looking for a parking place!!!
and of course, she always complaints that I think negative!!
as I don’t believe in such things…


Optimus wrote on May 19th, 2007 at 10:25 AM PST:

I am not really sure where do I fit, but I dislike it when people tell me that I should be optimistic and think life in simplicity without knowing me. Maybe it works for them but it’s not the same for every person out there. I am more on the pesimistic side maybe..

I like to think of life as a domain where everything can happen to you, from the worst to the best. This way, I constantly try to prepare myself myself about awfull things that could happen in my life and make me aware that they are possible too. And no matter what happens, I will still be around to go on with my walk of life according to the new data after the disaster. It’s kinda precautious thinking and maybe it blends even some thoughts about destiny I didn’t mention here and people usually don’t like it.

Another way to go through is my selfsarcasm about everything that happens to me. Bleh ;P


Dimitar Uzunov wrote on May 20th, 2007 at 5:53 AM PST:

‘An optimist sees a light at the of the tunnel, and the pessimist sees complete darkness. The realist sees two idiots sitting on the rails’

People either tell me that I’m too pessimistic or that I’m an optimist, but I think only faith will get you nowhere – you shouldn’t base your judgments on it. I don’t like people who speculate. I do like people who don’t get offended when I argue with them. The world isn’t monochrome. Its not even grayscale. Its millions of colors and if you are either an optimist or a pessimist you aren’t seeing the full picture.


Richard wrote on May 21st, 2007 at 11:51 AM PST:

Hm, well I don’t think of myself as a pessimist, even though I always think about what could happen if I do this or that and I then try to take the least “dangerous” way of doing things.

BTW. People often refer to themselves as clumsy, because the dropped something or similar, while I would have never acted like this, because I would have forseen that this could happen. And this makes me confident in what I do, and therefore an optimist. ;-)

Cheers


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