Chaos theory or the power of negative thinking

20 Sep
«The main precept behind this theory is the underlying notion of small occurrences significantly affecting the outcomes of seemingly unrelated events.»
Why is it that when some things start to go wrong, everything goes wrong? That somehow the one affects the other and that when many things like that happens they multiply? Is t that just chaos theory kicking in and that once shit hits the fan more shit keeps coming? Or is it that when bad things happen it is easier to shift into negative thinking, and therefore you only see the negative?
Sometimes (most of the time) I think life is wonderful. I love my friends, my work, my home and my health. I can walk outside and really appreciate the blue sky, birds singing and the smell after it rains – the little things in life that make me smile. But there are some periods in life where things starts to go wrong. It can start with something like a crush that does not turn out the way I want, and then perhaps you get a speeding ticket. And then it just goes downhill from there…
Sometimes I wonder if this stuff happens to me, or if it is myself who allows them to happen? Could things have turned out better with positive thinking, or is it just that positive thinking helps you see things differently? And could it be that I only now feel like things are bad because I can only see the negative stuff?
Once I watched Oprah and she had an idea that you should write a diary where you write 5 things everyday that you are thankful for. I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all. I am pretty sure that even know when things are a bit rough I could find 5 things that I am grateful for. At least when you do that it is easier to focus on the good things rather than the negative – and sometimes we do need that reminder.
…and if all else fails you always have the good old punching bag to turn to 🙂
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4 kommentar to “Chaos theory or the power of negative thinking”

  1. MrThorswold 21. september 2010 kl. 10:00 #

    I think this is about selective perception. When you start noticing negative things, you see them everywhere. The same thing happens when you are single and see couples everywhere, think about pregnant women and see pregnant women and strollers everywhere etc.

    Positive thinking works to a certain degree. If you imagine you can become rich just by wishing to be rich (like the bullshit ideology «The Secret» for example) you will be let down again and again.

    On the other hand, studies show that focusing on the small things you are thankful for every day actually makes you appreciate them more and become happier.

    • lenyoloi 22. september 2010 kl. 19:42 #

      That’s true – and it’s weird when you first realize it 😉

      I think positive thinking works in many ways. Actually I was thinking about it today how much my mood and my feelings towards things are affected by my thoughts and state of mind. I really should spend more time learning how to control them (thoughts). I agree that «The Secret» might be taking it a bit too far, or at least simplify it a bit too much. But it is actually only presenting ideas from Buddhism in a way that it easier to understand – commercializing it I guess. If it can help people to change their attitudes and taking back control over their lives, I think it is a good thing 🙂 (I feel like I could write a blog post on the subject – but I’ll stop here)

      Yup! Have you read about the Pygmalion effect? Inspiring! 🙂

      • lenyoloi 22. september 2010 kl. 19:42 #

        Wow… Easy on the smileys there… Hahaha.

  2. MrThorswold 22. september 2010 kl. 21:58 #

    I like Buddhism (well, at least as far as my very limited knowledge reaches) 🙂

    I am ambivalent about positive thinking. In the USA, it has been taken to the extreme for so many years that we can blame it for parts of the collapsing housing market, lack of social security etc.

    Barbara Ehrenreich has written about how positive thinking is destroying America. Many people believe that the homeless do not wish for a home hard enough, or that the unemployed are not trying hard enough etc.

    This is also making people feel shitty about themselves. Their self image goes down the drain when every failure always is them not wanting it hard enough or not being positive enough.

    On the other hand, Norway could use some of the Americans’ positive thinking. I have got several friends who only see problems, not solutions. Every suggestion is met with a list of possible obstacles. And of course they get nowhere.

    You are definitely cheerful and positive, without losing contact with reality. I believe you got the best of both worlds.

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