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A Good Day

July 21, 2020

I think today is a good day to have a good day.

Hear me out: I’m often frustrated when people peddle new age philosophies and obsess over the power of positive thinking.

There are devout followers of this concept, brainwashed to believe it because they’ve read a book like The Secret, listened to a charismatic talk show host praise it, or encountered a self-help “expert” who sells this idea that “if you just think it, it will happen.”

They believe: If you focus on what you want, you can will it into existence. If you have problems in your life, it’s because you’re not thinking rightly about them. 

People who say things like this are lying. You can have all of the right thoughts in the world, and sometimes, your life is going to suck. Even if you are the most positive person on the planet, you can still lose your job, your family member can still suffer from a terminal illness, you can still have a strained relationship, and you can still face financial hardship.

For the most part, the power of positive thinking is intellectually dishonest, flawed, and destructive.

But on the other hand, some people run to the opposite extreme and say, “My thinking doesn’t matter at all.” This perpetual chip on my shoulder doesn’t have any negative repercussions. This is also false.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” –Proverbs 23:7

Both of these things can be true at the same time:

1. Positive thinking does not mean your life will always be positive.
2. Negative thinking is certain to have negative consequences.

Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist who endured great pain and tragedy throughout his life. He is famous for saying this: “The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Frankl knew what it feels like to be without freedom, but he claimed that even in the most dire circumstances, we have the power to choose our attitudes.

So will our thoughts always change our outcomes? No.
Do those thoughts still matter? Absolutely.

Thinking positively won’t necessarily make your life better. It won’t magically change your circumstances. But thinking negatively will definitely make your life worse.

So I’m deciding that today is a good day to have a good day. That doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be great, but it’s far better than the alternative. 


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