Rethinking Positive Thinking

By: Gabrielle Oettingen

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Ah, the allure of positive thinking! It's become almost an art in today's self-help world. But hold on, says Gabrielle Oettingen in "Rethinking Positive Thinking". In this eye-opening treatise, Oettingen walks us through the science of dreams and how merely visualizing our goals isn't enough. Instead, a combination of positive dreaming and understanding potential obstacles creates a powerful roadmap to success. Have you ever wondered if there might be a chink in the armor of sheer optimism? Let's delve in.

Now, imagine an aspiring pianist. She dreams of playing at Carnegie Hall, her fingers effortlessly dancing over the keys. While the dream is vital, it's the understanding of the challenges ahead – like hours of practice, stiff competition, and handling stage fright – that will truly pave her path. Similarly, Oettingen argues that by understanding the "what" and "why" of our goals, and foreseeing possible hitches, we can better navigate the journey.

Remember when we played "opposite day" as kids? What if we apply that to our aspirations? By juxtaposing our dreams against reality, we might just discover a strategy that works. Ponder this: what stands between your current state and your dream? Identifying this gap helps harness both the power of positivity and the reality of challenges.

You know that feeling of a "lightbulb moment"? Oettingen's approach feels just like that. By merging dreams with anticipated hurdles, you're not just hoping for the best – you're preparing for success. Now, isn't that a refreshing take on positive thinking?

The Power of Mental Contrasting


In her critically acclaimed work, Gabrielle Oettingen introduces us to a pivotal tool for achieving one’s dreams, referred to as “mental contrasting.” This concept involves the meticulous juxtaposition of your fervent desires against the present-day realities, a process that isn’t about dampening your spirit but infusing it with a ...

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