The Benefits of Negative Thinking

It goes against American culture, contrary to the advice of self-help gurus and business advisors: thinking negatively can be good for you. People who believe that tomorrow will be better should coldly consider that tomorrow could in fact be worse. Those sentiments roughly summarize the recent editorial by Oliver Burke, "The Power of Negative Thinking." His thoughts were inspired by the recent news that 21 participants in an Anthony Robbins motivational event badly burned their feet from walking over hot coals. Recognizing reality is what it's all about. Motivation and belief do not trump the physics of fire. Fears of failure lead to considerations of all that can go wrong. Taking steps to avoid pitfalls can lead to great success. The trick to fire walking is to wait until the coals have burned long enough for ash to build up on top of them and then to walk quickly. If the coals are burning bright red it's wise to wait a little while.

- Mike Marks

share this article: facebook