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How do you make positive thinking work? By Haydn Sargent

Decide to make your life an adventure – a game. You will be confronted with problems and challenges. The negative thinker is overwhelmed by awesome threat of it. The adventurer is excited by the challenge of it.


When confronted by a problem, don’t panic in thinking about the obstacles and giving up.


Concentrate on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about what you can’t do, or what might happen. Worry is rehearsing for failure.


The diamond miners patiently shift tons of earth for the sake of finding a few gems no bigger than your thumbnail. It would be easy to become discourage by the mountain f soil and overlook the value of the precious stones. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the size of the problem and overlook the value or the importance of the solution.


One of my daughters brought along a huge jigsaw puzzle. It provided a lot of fun but there was one problem. We were under impression that a couple of pieces were missing. So, if a piece was hard to find, the natural reaction was to think this must be one of those missing pieces. In many ways, that thought robbed the puzzle of its fun because we believed it would never be completed.


The fear of failure prevents many people from even starting we are afraid of other people’s opinions, afraid what others think about us, afraid of what they will say about us. We are frightened to start on a project, apply for a job, even afraid to join a conversation because we think negatively and feel defeated, even before we start. Shakespeare said: ‘Our doubts are traitors and make us loose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt.’


I think we learn more from our failures than from our successes. We usually don’t analyse our successes; we may enjoy them, celebrate them, even bask in the moment of glory they bring, but it’s usually the setbacks, failures and frustrating disappointments that stop us in our tracks and make us ask why.

New Thinking For The New Millennium by Edward De Bono





Education is a prime example of a system that has evolved to the point where it is no longer capable of further evolution…education is obsessed with literacy and numeracy. Yet ‘operacy’ (the skills of doing) is almost entirely neglected. As soon as a youngster leaves school that youngster is going to need operacy. The Socratic idea “that knowledge is all” is nonsense unless it also includes the knowledge of doing.


A great deal of effort is put into improving education within its own context but this may have no effect whatsoever on changing the context or direction of education.


There are a lot of talented and highly motivated people in education – possibly more than in any other sector. Yet they are locked into a system and have to follow that system.


The phrase “That is the same as what we are doing now” has killed more new ideas than any other comment.


Men are said to use logic more than women do. There may be a reason for this perception. Men have traditionally worked in groups. Women tended to work alone. So the communication function of logic was not so important.


A novelist once suggested that a wife could tell if her husband was seeing another woman during the day by noticing the difference in the length of his tie on his leaving in the morning a d on returning in the evening.


Many clever people are not wise. Many people who are not specially clever in the conventional sense are wise. Wisdom can come with age and experience so you learn to recognise complex possibilities. Wisdom can also be obtained at an earlier age by learning to broaden and enrich perception. You need to look widely. You need to look at alternative possibilities (enrich). You need to look more deeply into the future. All these aspects of perception feed directly into wisdom.


If you believe that you have the ‘truth’, then you may exercise the right to oppress others who think differently. Religious wars and persecutions have arisen from such arrogance. The ways in which this feeling of truth have been arrived at vary with different religious.


The education system in every country is a disgrace. Where are the schools that teach constructive thinking – the most important of all human skills? Where are the schools that teach how value is really created in society, by business, by government, etc.? Education is driven by ‘continuity’ and not by any regard for the needs of individuals or the needs of society.


We see what we want to see. We see what we are prepared to see. We see what we are used to seeing. We see what our emotions have sensitised us to see. Outside science and objective measurement, judgement is always subjective.


If you ask executives, even in the most illustrious of corporations, what areas need new ideas and new thinking, they have not the faintest idea. They will search around and then produce some very broad generalities: to be more productive; to get more customers, etc. Or, they will simply give a list of “problems”. If you ask the same executives to give you a list of problems, they will do so without hesitation. Problems attract thinking attention. Areas that are not problems do not get any thinking.


We are told that if you do not learn the lessons of history you are doomed to repeat them. It is also true that if you do learn the lessons of history you are doomed to be trapped by them!

Nelson Mandela

When I think about the past, the types of things they did, I feel angry, but then again that is my feeling. The brain always dominates, says, as I have pointed out, you have a limited time to stay on Earth. You must try and use that period to transform your country into what you desire it to be.



Relax and enjoy the ride. Sometimes you can control where you're going, other times you get swept along by forces beyond your control. Yet you can always control how you think and feel and respond. You can always control what you carry with you as you move on ahead.

Resist the urge to fight against events, or to become completely absorbed by them. Instead, find a way to make positive and productive use of them. There is so much more to be gained when you focus on moving forward than when you become consumed by looking backward. Rather than getting hung up on how you got here, become enthusiastic about where you can go from here.

The way will sometimes be slow and bumpy, and other times it will be smooth and easy. In all cases it will be filled with opportunities for joy, meaning and true fulfillment.

As each moment of life arrives with its unique and never-before-tasted flavor, smile and let it be. Then proceed to make it a masterpiece.

Author: Unknown to me...