Rene Descartes penned the words, “I think, therefore I am.” This simple premise states the fact that my ability to think proves that I actually exist.
Although I don’t have any doubts about my existence, the human mind could make a similar claim. “I affirm, therefore I am.”
Part of what it means for the brain to exist is the power to affirm, and when you strip it of that power, you diminish it to a significant degree.
It’s impossible to affirm anything positive when doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear cripple the mind.
So why do I believe in the power of positive affirmations, and how do they make a difference in your life?
To understand the power of positive affirmations, you need to understand positive thinking and how it works.
It turns out that most people don't understand how the brain works; they don't know that positive thinking can actually make their life worse rather than better.
Your brain is an affirming machine. Unfortunately it affirms the negative just as easily as the positive; it affirms the bad just as easily as the good. Your brain is positive about many things that are factually untrue. And when you are positive about the wrong things, your affirmative thinking actually gets you into trouble.
POSITIVE THINKING IS THE NATURAL SOFTWARE FOR YOUR MIND
Positive thinking works because it is the natural software for your mind.
God designed a positive software package that permits your mind to function at full capacity and maximum efficiency. He created your mind to work best with a positive operating system. When your mind affirms positive things, a positive operating system is up and running.
Negative thinking doesn't work well, because your mind was not designed to function with a negative operating system.
Although your mind is an awesome biocomputer, it will not function well using the wrong software.
Severely depressed people run a negative operating system most of the time, and they illustrate how bad things can get when negative thinking takes control. When your mind affirms negative things, a negative operating system is in control.
Positive thinking truly is the right type of thinking. Positive thinking is more than a good idea. It's the way your mind was designed to work. God designed your mind to function best when it’s under the influence of positive beliefs.
Positive thinking will not make your life perfect. It will not make all your problems disappear or prevent serious illness and accidents. Nevertheless, positive thinking makes your life immeasurably better. No amount of positive thinking will take something bad and turn it into something good; however, positive thinking will turn it into something better. No matter how negative your life is, thinking positive makes it better.
Positive thinking confuses many people. They don't understand why it's so hard to develop a positive mind. They sincerely want to become a positive person, but they don't have a clue as to how they can make it happen. No matter how hard they try to think positive thoughts, they end up with negative ones instead.
They have a fundamental misunderstanding about how you create a positive mind.
They try to think positive thoughts by trying to think positive thoughts - a strategy that does not work. The reason is simple. A negative mind does not have positive thoughts inside, and whatever you have inside your mind is what is going to come out. No matter how hard you try to be positive, and no matter how much you want to be positive, if you have a negative mind, you will have negative thoughts.
Positive thinking is the result of putting positive things into your mind. It's a sign that you have filled your mind with positive things.
Trying to think positive thoughts without first putting positive things into your mind is a waste of time. It won't work and cannot work. It's impossible to get positive thoughts out of a negative mind. If there aren't any positive thoughts inside, then there is nothing positive that can come out.
Positive thinking is the summation of all the positive things that you have put into your mind. Negative thinking is a summation of all the toxic waste that you have allowed into your mind.
Your mind is like a giant adding machine that sums up what you have put inside. When you fill your mind with positive things, the positive thoughts control and dominate your mind, because that is what you have inside. If you are having a problem with negative thoughts, it's because that is what is inside your mind.
If you want to have different thoughts, you must put different things inside. That's why positive affirmations are so important. They are one way to get positive things inside.
There is a difference between thinking positive and putting positive things into your mind. You can't think positive unless you already have positive things inside. Filling your mind with positive things must come first. That's why it's imperative that you control what gets into your mind.
If you fill your mind with toxic waste, you will end up with a negative mind. It's not a mystery. If you fill a bucket with water, when you empty the bucket, water is what comes out.
If you fill your mental bucket with positive things, then when you empty your mental bucket, positive thoughts flow out.
Trying to think positive thoughts without having a mind full of positive things will not work. It's impossible.
Positive affirmations are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to fill your mind with positive things.
THE POSITIVE MIND IS NOT ALWAYS POSITIVE
The positive mind is not always positive, but it is never in doubt.
Many times the positive mind is biased, unbalanced, and extremely negative. Sometimes the positive mind affirms things that are factually untrue.
Once you understand that the positive mind is an affirming machine, you have taken the first step to understanding the true nature of positive thinking. The next step is to understand that the positive mind affirms negative things just as easily as it does positive.
God gave you an awesome mind that is an affirming machine. It is up to you to decide whether those affirmations will be positive or negative, healthy or sick, constructive or destructive.
THREE ESSENTIAL FACTS ABOUT POSITIVE THINKING
1. Positive thinking comes in two forms: Positively Positive and Positively Negative
2. The opposite of positive thinking is not negative thinking.
3. The opposite of positive thinking is doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear.
Until you understand these essential facts, there is a high probability that positive thinking will not work its miracle for you. In fact, positive thinking may even make your life worse.
The battle for a positive mind is even more challenging when doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear assume control.
The doubting mind is the antithesis of the positive mind. The opposite of positive thinking is doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear, and when they are in charge, nothing good happens.
For all practical purposes, your mind is either in an affirmative state or in a state of uncertainty, doubt, ambivalence, and fear.
The affirmative state has two forms: you can be positively positive or positively negative. Most people experience some combination of the two.
Positively positive is a constructive state that makes your life easier taking you in the direction of your dreams.
Positively negative is a destructive state that makes your life harder than it needs to be and takes you where you don’t want to go.
Doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear are destructive maladaptive states that take over when the mind loses its ability to affirm. Your mind does not do a good job of handling doubt and ambivalence. A mind full of these culprits is inefficient and dysfunctional.
If you want positive thinking to make your life better, you must remain in a positively positive state. The other two states are extremely destructive, and if you choose to live there, you can say good-bye to your dreams as your life enters an endless downward spiral.
THE CRIPPLED MIND - LOOSING YOUR AFFIRMATIVE POWERS
Although you can never turn off your brain, you can cripple the affirming machine with doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear.
When your mind loses the power to affirm, it becomes impotent.
You are mentally decapitated because positive affirmations no longer flow from your mind.
Rene Descartes penned the words, “I think, therefore I am.” This simple premise states the fact that my ability to think proves that I actually exist.
Although I don’t have any doubts about my existence, the human mind could make a similar claim. “I affirm, therefore I am.” Part of what it means for the brain to exist is the power to affirm, and when you strip it of that power, you diminish it to a significant degree. It’s impossible to affirm anything positive when doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence, and fear cripple the mind.
Nothing good ever comes from doubt, uncertainty, ambivalence and fear.
THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS
Which is better? A positively negative mind or a mind crippled by doubt, ambivalence, and fear?
I would not choose either of these states, but if I had to choose, I would choose the positively negative mind over the crippled one.
The positively negative mind is working normally in the sense that it still has the ability to affirm. Although it is affirming the wrong things, at least it is still working. It isn’t crippled. Rather, it is misdirected and misinformed.
A positively negative mind gives me more with which to work. If I can move the affirmations in a positive and constructive direction, things can rapidly improve because I don’t have to deal with a crippled mind.
A mind crippled by doubt, ambivalence, and fear is an entirely different story. That mind is not even to square zero because it has forgotten how to affirm. The first order of the day is to retrain the mind so that it starts affirming once again. That gets you back to square zero, and then you can start reprogramming the mind with powerful positive affirmations so that the mind can start doing what it does best.
It’s time to prime the positive pump with positive affirmations so the mind can start affirming once again. You must repeat positive thoughts to your mind until your mind repeats them back to you.
Positive thinking has another meaning beyond simple affirmations.
Positive means congruent and non-ambivalent. It is a form of internal congruence.
What is internal congruence?
Internal congruence is about who you are. It looks at the three parts of you that make you uniquely human.
Inner congruence exists when your mind, heart, and will are all committed to moving together in a non-ambivalent fashion to achieve a worthwhile purpose.
People have understood the importance of inner congruence for thousands of years.
The Bible teaches that you are to love God with all your mind, all your heart, and all your strength. This passage of scripture lays out what it means to achieve internal congruence. You must get you mind, your heart, and your will all heading in the same direction if you want big things to happen in your life.
If your mind wants one thing, your heart wants something else, and your will is not willing to do whatever it takes, you are in trouble. You are heading in different directions in your mind, heart, and will, and this lack of congruence literally tears you apart. You are stuck until you get your mind, heart, and will to work together and head in the same direction.
Each time you face an important decision, you must ask yourself three questions:
1. Do I want this with my head?
2. Do I want this with my heart?
3. Am I willing to do whatever it takes?
If you answer yes to all three questions, ambivalence is not a problem, and you have internal congruence. You will be able to move forward in a positive manner because every part of who you are is on the same page working to achieve the same positive outcome.
If you answer no to any of the questions, ambivalence is present and internal congruence does not exist. You may as well stop right where you are and resolve the ambivalence before you try to move ahead. You will never be able to move forward in a positive manner until you have inner congruence.
The third meaning of positive thinking relates to external congruence.
External congruence relates to what you do. Specifically it relates to what you think, say, and do.
External congruence happens when what you think, say, and do are exactly the same. There is no gap between thinking, saying, and doing. They are all in agreement and heading in the same direction.
Talk is cheap, fast, and easy. Doing is hard, expensive, and takes lots of time.
The difference between saying and doing is the difference between heaven and hell, the difference between bogging down in Nowhere Land and sailing on the ocean of your dreams.
The gap between thinking, saying, and doing stops millions of people from living positive lives in which their dreams actually come true.
You cannot be a positive person when there is a gaping chasm between what you think, say, and do. The instant that you close the gap, you become an Unstoppable, Consistently Positive, Endlessly Persistent, Doer of Dreams.
DOES POSITIVE THINKING WORK?
There is no doubt about it. Positive thinking works, and it works all the time unless you are trapped in doubt, ambivalence and fear.
Positive thinking will work for you and make your life better once you understand what it is and how it works.
Positive Thinking is much more complicated than repeating a few positive affirmations and hoping for the best. Positive Thinking is about learning to run your mind in a way that takes you to your dreams.
I have given you the roadmap to becoming a positive person who has a Positively Positive operating system running in your mind.
If you want to be positive, nobody can stop you.
POSITIVE POWER SUMMARY
What does it mean to be a positive person?
1. You are positively positive so that your mind affirms positive and constructive things.
2. You are internally congruent so that your heart, mind, and will are all heading in the same direction.
3. You are externally congruent so that what you think, say, and do are exactly the same. There is no gap between what you think, say, and do.
If your mind is positively positive, and if you demonstrate internal and external congruence, there is no limit to how good your life can become.
A Positively positive operating system combined with double congruence can do more than change your life. You might even change the world.
Many times I felt like I had taken things to the limit, but on further examination, it was clear I simply had enough. I was done and was unwilling to do whatever it takes to continue. Hitting the wall of absolute limits has never been a problem. The envelope of possibility is infintely large, and the likelihood of encountering absolute limits is infinitesimally small. There are no limits. There are only limiting beliefs.
In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes seem fairly insignificant. In a global sense it's easy to feel as if my life counts for nothing, or at most, counts for little. When someone tells me that I shouldn't be doing things that are important to me, and that I'm wasting my life, they are really saying that my dreams don't count in their scheme of things.
I am a daktari without borders. I am not sure when and where borders disappeared from my mind, but sometime in the last quarter century, I became a citizen of the world. Wherever I am on planet earth, I feel at home in my borderless world. Find out what it's like to live without borders.
When my life is over and on judgment day I stand in the final line up with all the rest, I hope millions of people can point their finger at me, pick me out of the line up, and say, "He's the one. That's definitely him. He's different from the rest. He didn't conform, and he is guilty of living his dreams.
You are never safe from negation. Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation. You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.
Faith isn’t something that must be present before you move in the direction of your dreams. Rather it’s something that develops after you start moving. When you start out, you don’t see how your dreams are possible. Nevertheless, the moment you take the first step, faith instantly comes into your life. Never look at faith as the path to a life of leisure. God gave you faith so you could see things other people can’t see and do things other people can’t do.
I could write an entire book called, "Things I Feared That Never Happened," and follow that up with a second book entitled, "I Feared The Wrong Things." Almost always, fear is a waste of time. Most of the things you fear will never happen, and you fear the wrong things. When the hobglobins of fear start dancing in your mind, it's time to refocus on other things. Learn how to squelch the voice of fear with a positive focus!
For me, the dream is all about adventure, freedom, and being really alive. Although I like seeing the sights wherever we go, I think it's the sense of adventure coupled with the freedom to do what I want to do with my life, seasoned with a pinch of adrenalin that makes it all worthwhile.
The first step in moving toward your dreams is to doubt your limits. Once you doubt your limits, it's almost as if you are born again. You get an entirely new life with radically different rules of engagement. You enter the Promised Land of Imagine, Believe, and Receive. I know this to be true because I have been there.
WHO IS DR. DAVE AND WHY IS HE BLOGGING?
More than two decades ago, Captain Dave (aka Dr. Dave) started writing and creating websites as he sailed around the world on his sailboat, SV Exit Only. Those early websites and books evolved into the Positive Thinking Network you see today.
Captain Dave lived overseas for twenty-eight years in his globe trotting lifestyle until he became a Flying Doctor with the Indian Health Service working for ten years in the American Southwest flying out to deliver health care to the Apache, Hopi, Hualapai, Havasupai, and Colorado River Tribes.
Dr. Dave completed his work with the Indian Health Service in Arizona, and now runs the Positive Thinking Network full time either from his catamaran or his Land Rover Defenders as he travels around the world
The Positive Thinking Network has a global outreach sending a positive message to 196 countries, and it is your definitive source of positive thinking on the World Wide Web.
With hundreds of positive websites, and more than a million pages and podcasts downloaded each month, it's where you come to learn everything you want to know about positive thinking. The Positive Thinking Network focuses on positive self-talk, positive spirituality, winning the battle against depression, PTSD, and positive adventure.
Hundreds of family safe websites stand ready to fill your mind with positive things.
Dr. Dave and the Positive Thinking Network work around the clock to change the world, one person at a time, one web page at a time, and one podcast at a time.