Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Extra Ingredient

In case you missed it, Sept. 13 was International Positive Thinking Day. The annual observance is the creation of Dr. Kirsten Harrell, a psychologist and life coach. Now some might scoff at the idea we can think our way to success. But I do believe attitude has much to do with the achievement of goals—whether they relate to writing or anything else. The United States has been a fertile playing field for optimists and has spawned a variety of theories and even several uniquely American religions linking spiritual and material success with attitude. Science has confirmed that a positive attitude does help in matters of health. Why should not the same apply to other aspects of life? Optimists have a tendency to face up to problems and actively seek to solve them. Pessimists, on the other hand, are more prone to give up without a fight. As Frank Lloyd Wright put it, “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” Quantum theory has demonstrated what we deem reality is a transitory state and nothing is impossible. Thus life events can be influenced. Success is an evolutionary process and it isn’t necessarily measured in dollars. It can and must have a personal definition. For one person it may mean wealth and fame. For another no more than the successful completion of a project. Validity is dependent on the individual. I’m not talking magic here, other than the kind coming from a belief in yourself. Asked about her success, Victoria Holt, who wrote historical fiction under a variety of pseudonyms, said, “Make up your mind that you will succeed and go all out for it.” At the time of her death in 1993 it was reported more than 100 million copies of her novels had been sold. That definitely illustrates the power of positive thinking. Oh, one other ingredient too often left out of these prescriptions for willing success—work. Wright, named the ‘greatest American architect of all time’ in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects, also said, “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

2 comments:

William Doonan said...

Great points, John. Reminds me of the old adage - the secret to writing is applying butt to chair.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

William, you have a way of making me laugh and not just silently but out loud. In other words, just do it!

I also like John's positive attitude. We do make our own success and part of that is believing in yourself. Being positive, gets us though the trying times in our lives whether it's a pile of rejections from publishers or some other misadventure.

We need to keep climbing that mountain because hey, the sun is always shinning someplace.