I can’t do creative work in such dire times



The Context

Positive thinking won't make the obstacles in your path go away. But it will make them feel less overwhelming. This is the hallmark of psychologically maturity. It's the ability to deal effectively and resiliently with your experiences, and to clearly comprehend your intentions so you can contribute to the feeling that life is meaningful. Even when it appears hopeless. That's one benefit to those who creatively and prolifically search for the upside in every situation. No experience is entirely negative. Circumstances can suck, life still hurts, but it's all a gift. To quote the song lyric, whatever it is, there's always a ribbon wrapped around it.

The Tool

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UPSIDING -- Using the placebo power of an optimism filter during traumatic experiences to get more of what you want

Now, let's pause for a moment, as that might sound like a blue sky optical illusion to you. Completely out of touch with reality, right? Well, that's kind of the point. Reality may not be optimal, but it is optional. Adams, the bestselling cartoonist who has made millions and also made history, speaks about psychological maturity from an engineering perspective. In his book he says that our life is a complex iterative model. Everything that happens today forms for the basis of what can happen tomorrow. All of those infinitesimally small changes in our day today can magnify into huge changes over time. It depends on tiny electronic and chemical reactions. In fact, it's been proven that our positive thoughts cause a real electrical charge in the environment outside our head, he says. Scientists can place sensors on our scalp and detect the slight changes in electrical impulses that correspond to our thoughts. And these tiny changes in electricity can cause larger positive changes than our vision and common sense would allow us to believe. Man, it's a bizarre and thought provoking theory. But what he's saying is that psychological maturity has real economic value.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

This tool certainly seems to be a pattern in my own life. I've been fundamentally affirmative since childhood. I always tried to steer my perceptions towards optimistic realities that were more to my liking. And this illusion, annoying as it might have been for others, has consistently kept me focused on making forward progress. I've been able to positively influence my environment directly. Even during the recession. One of my most meaningful and profitable projects was incubated during tough economic times. My optimistic filter helped me discover an exciting new business opportunity to use my talents in novel ways to improve the world. Keep in mind, my attitude didn't make the obstacles in my path go away, it only made them less overwhelming.

The Rest

Are you focusing on the upside enough? How might having a positive outlook on traumatic circumstances give you more chances to get what you want? Sure, people will shake their heads, roll their eyes and wonder when you're going to come to your senses. But psychological maturity prevails in the end. If you can stay immune to the cynics and idiots who tell you that your optimism is naive and misguided, it's amazing what kinds of results can occur. If your thoughts can influence the environment, how can it happen in a planned way?

The Benefits

Make obstacles in your path feel less overwhelming
Positively influence your environment more directly
Increase resiliency during difficult circumstances
Deepen psychological maturity and create more economic value

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