“Proper assessment of reality can be as crucial to life as oxygen. To try and make it through this world without a reasonable understanding of reality is like stumbling around in a dark room laden with land mines.” – Robert Ringer
If you are waiting for circumstances to change for the better, you are engaging in wishful thinking. Circumstances are undoubtedly going to change in some way, but you can’t really predict how they are going to change. If you think you can, you are simply fooling yourself. They might get worse.
Examples of Wishful Thinking
The following are common examples of people basing their actions on wishful thinking. Some of these things might actually happen, but often they do not. The point is you do not know. The future is not now. Learning to deal with what is will actually give you far more control over your future than waiting for “things to turn around”.
- Your partner is going to change from who they are to who you want them to be.
- The economy is about to turn around. Even though in other times and other places it has been in the toilet for 10 or 15 years, that’s not going to happen this time.
- Your home will appreciate in value.
- The stock market will go up.
- Your dream job is right around the corner.
- Your kids are going to do what you wish they would do.
- Doctors generally improve your health.
- Government can make the world a better place.
- Other people can and should make their decisions in a way that you think is fair.
- Stuff makes you happy.
- The alleged coming economic upturn is going to save your business or your job.
You can find freedom in an unfree world or you can continue to try and change everyone else. You can waste years nagging your partner to be different than they are and make both of you miserable, or you can accept what is and move on. You can prosper in a bad economy or you can wait for a good economy (and still not prosper). You can find happiness without stuff or you can try to buy your way to nirvana. You can bitch about what other people do or you can control what you do.
Positive Thinking vs. Wishful Thinking
I’m not saying you shouldn’t think positively because you should. But there is a difference between positive thinking and wishful thinking. Real positive thinking implies action; it’s proactive. Wishful thinking is reactive. Positive thinking is figuring out a way to prosper in bad times – and believing you can. Wishful thinking is waiting for the good times to arrive and save you from your circumstances.
What do YOU think? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
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