The power of positive thinking

11:07 AM

I wrote this post in 2010, and while the title is awesome and catchy, the content of that post was poorly written and not really straight to the point.
This made it a prime candidate for rewriting and re-publishing, something I will work on more regularly in the next couple of weeks.

As many of you might already know, I am a HUGE believer in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. So if you are a skeptic not willing to change, you might as well just stop reading right away, this blog post is not for you.
If you are curious, or already on the path of positive thinking and gratitude, you'll enjoy that post, so keep on reading.

I did start learning about the near magical power of positive thinking when I was a teenager, by accident (or maybe not).
Back then, my bedroom had been my parent's study until I moved out of the "kids room" into this big girl room. For a long time, it felt more like I was squatting the place, the bookshelf in that room was crammed with a lot of my parents' books and the decor was oozing 70's vibe (avocado walls and orange carpet anyone?)

In that bookshelf that wasn't really mine, I found a big blue binder that had a lot of audio tapes and a booklet. It was Sophrology course. My parents both tried it in the past, sometimes talked about it, but were never really into it, so the whole course was catching dust in my room until I became curious about it.
I had no idea that Sophrology was a type of guided meditation technique that allows one to plant ideas in their own subconscious. I didn't even know what the word subconscious meant. But after listening to the first tape, I got hooked. I loved the relaxation techniques, and as the course progressed, I learned about the power of autosuggestion, and how the way we think affect the outcome of our lives.
For a geeky, fairly awkward and introvert teenager, I felt like I stumbled upon a gold mine of introspective material. And I loved seeing the results of those techniques.

My favourite technique back then was to go in meditative state, and visualise a problem I had, and then visualise the EXACT way I wanted it to go. And I used this technique a ton, believe it or not, it got me out of tricky exams situations more than once.

My school had a type of exam we called "oral presentation exam", during which you step into the room, pick a topic in a lucky draw, spend 10 minutes preparing yourself, and then stand all alone in front of the teacher to present said topic. It was mostly used to make a student talk about a book read during a term. The lucky draw was meant to make sure kids read the whole book rather than just one chapter.
The problem was that we had books to read in French lit, Philosophy, German, Italian and English. This meant that no one really read them all, and often one found themselves having to improvise big time to save their butt during exam time.

Not me...

Believe it or not, I would pick a chapter or extract I liked in each book weeks before the exam date and visualise me picking that extract in a lucky draw, and then visualise how I would talk about it, present it. I would visualise myself speaking confidently, and expressing ideas clearly. In the case of the 3 foreign languages, I would also practice what I would say everyday, being absolutely CONVINCED I would get quizzed on that particular book extract.

Guess what?

It worked EVERY single time, I never ever ever picked an exam topic card for a chapter or book extract I hadn't visualise during one of my Sophrology practice session.

Back then, and for many many years to go, I had no idea that this was one of the tenet of the "Law of Attraction" philosophy.
I just went about in life visualising goals clearly, thinking positively about them and go get them. Sure I hit a few roadblocks along the way. We all do, but because I was more focused on the end goal I never really let whatever crap that came my way bother me.

That's how I did it

That's how I managed to move to India, and stay there nearly 15 years. That's how I ran my entire life, that's how I go about my business, my career, my artwork, my finances, my everything. 

I focus on what I have, and the potential for growth rather than the lack of something. I focus on the positive as much as possible. Yes, I'm human, and yes I crib and complain on occasion, we all have those lousy days.
But, because of my almost lifetime of practicing positive thinking, I know that when I have a bad day, it's not because the world sucks or is all set to destroy me, it's because I am temporary out of synch with said world. 
Knowing that is power people! Knowing that you can take a deep breath, and realise that right now all you need is to step down, take it easy, and love yourself

Remember to be grateful

If you find it hard to begin, or believe, it's fine. It's not easy focusing on the positive when society at large wants us to believe that only the negative matter. We are brainwashed into looking at the bad, the awful and the ugly. We are conditioned to look at something nasty to make us feel less crappy as "Oh look those people are starving in Africa, so it's ok if I can't pay my bills this's not that bad"

The problem with that kind of thinking, is that you compare your lack of something to the lacks of someone else in order to make yourself accept your own lacks better. It's negative, and really not that constructive. 
One thing I read more than once over the years (ahem...decades!) is that it takes as much energy to lift yourself up and be positive than it takes sitting on your bum cribbing about everything and rot into bitterness...yet that's what most people will spend a lifetime doing. 
Their vocabulary will be filled with things like "I't not fair", "If only I had...", I wish I could but I can't", "I'm unlucky", "I'm not smart enough", "I had the wrong upbringing", "I wasn't born in the right place"

Those are things I stopped saying to myself by the time I was 18, like all teenagers, I thought things were not fair, disgusting, and that yeah the world was against me. But because I also spend a significant amount of my free time learning about positive thinking, my mindset changed. 

As I went, I focussed on the things I had, and made it a daily practice of being GRATEFUL. I still am the kind of person who says thank you a lot. 
I say thank you to the garbage collector for taking my rubbish in the morning, the cashier for returning my credit card, the doorman for holding the door...and I actually mean it. 

I am thankful I have someone to collect my trash instead of me having to lug it all down to the basement to discard, I am grateful that I have been able to buy what I need, and I am grateful someone opened the door for me. Sure, it's their job, but the least I can do is acknowledge that their job makes my life the way it is, and I am grateful for that. 
In fact I regularly write a gratitude diary, because we should never take anything in our life for granted. Everything I have, or am is a blessing, EVERYTHING. 

It's easy to be grateful about all the big things like health, money, and a loving family, but truth be told, we should be grateful about what we eat, the ability to taste food, hear noises, feel comfy in our own skin and that cool pair of shoes we bought last week. 

Not convinced? 

Time for another more recent life even to prove my point. Last year, hubby and I navigated a though financial period, there was some career woes on his side, and while I will not go into much details because that's pretty private, it was rough. 
When things got rough, hubby turned to God, he isn't particularly religious, but going to the temple a couple of times a week made him feel better. 
For months though, there was no change in our situation, despite his prayers for said change. As he struggled with it all, I spent more time being even more grateful, and yes pretty much being his cheerleader. 
At first, he was angry with my absolute conviction that we would get out of that career and finances woe. I pointed to him several time that being positive didn't cost a thing, and that unlike being negative, had a chance at moving things forward.
One day, he went to the temple, and instead of asking God to change his situation, and give him a career opportunity, he just took time to tell him "Thank you". Thank you for listening to me, thank you for your help, thank you all that I have. 
A day later, he got a call for a job interview he was expecting, and within 2 weeks of him changing the tone of his prayers, solutions to our problems came pouring in, all one after the other. 
He put an end to over a year of job searches and career struggles and a couple of months of serious financial issues with just remembering to say THANK YOU.

Ok so how do I start?

Keeping a gratitude diary is a good place to start, but if you need more help or are more into reading books. I have a few favourite on the topic of positive thinking and the Law of Attraction. All the links below are Amazon affiliate links, this means if you click them and make a purchase, I get paid a commission, at no extra costs. 

-You are a badass by Jen Sincero
- The Power by Rhonda Byrne
- The Magic by Rhonda Byrne

There are many more books on the topic, but these are the books I read and loved the most (I have read many more that aren't as good). 
If you are an entrepreneur or love reading about other business owners who have walked the path to success, you might have noticed that every single one of them has in one way or another harnessed the power of positive thinking and gratitude. 
A few months ago I made a books for creatives blog post that list some of those books and some more, you might want to have a look at it here

In short...

Positive thinking take as much energy to do than negative thinking, but instead of bringing you down and turning you into a bitter old plum as you age, it has the potential to lift you up, and help you tackle obstacles in your way. 
And if you truly have faith in it, it will help you moves mountain. And guess what? It doesn't cost you a thing, so why not giving it a try for a change...the worst that could happen is that nothing change...and that is very unlikely an outcome anyway. 

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  1. This is one of the best and the most wonderful blogpost I have ever come across.Its sooo motivating and inspiring.Cyn,If you have the audio tapes of Sophrology,then could you please send it to me via email.I would be really grateful to you.

    1. Sadly I don't have those tapes, it was a method course from the 70's and they were in French. I think Sophrology isn't even that well known outside Europe at all. The tape were the "Duruz Method" and later I took an evening class in the "Caycedo method".

      Alphonso Caycedo is the founder of Sophrology, so looking for that method and how it came to be is a great place to start.

      This website might help you :

      I also just came to know that Sophrology is apparently an integral part of the police training in Geneva Switzerland, so now I'm thinking that might be how those tapes found their way into my home as a child, my dad, was a prison officer before he retired, and they are part of the police corp in Geneva.

  2. Aww sorry I don't have these tapes here with me, they were in my parent's bookshelves ages ago, and they were in French since that is my native language.
    If you re interested in Sophrology maybe you could find a class or group near where you live.

  3. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Kudos for your positive thinking, you are such an inspiration. I am reminded of a couplet of Saint Kabir "Everyone remembers god in times of sorrow but none during happy time. He who remembers him in happiness remains untouched by sorrow". We forget to be grateful for what he has blessed us with.

    We also faced some financial problems in the beginning. My wife's positive carried us through some tough times. I cannot thank her enough for her skillful maneuvering through troubled waters. What are we without our wives indeed.


    1. Yes exaclty, it's so easy to remember God when we need him the most, and forget he exist the instant things go batter. But the key to happiness is to always be aware that our life is a gift of God and be thankful about that, in good and bad times alike.

  4. Hi Cyn,

    A post different from the usual ones related to art work. I greatly enjoyed reading this one; and I could relate to many points you have mentioned in it.

    I have been practising positive thinking, and I am also a believer in the power of kindness and gratitude. This is more by way of habit, possibly acquired by reading different articles in newspapers and magazines, rather than by way of any specialised training in the art of positive thinking.

    When I look back, I realise that in my personal life, many of my desires have been fulfilled. I don't know if that is a result of the mode of my thinking and prayers; but now I am tempted to think that it might indeed be.

    I have heard of many books on subjects that are related to this. But I have never got around to reading any of them. I am reading about Sophrology also for the first time. I shall look this up.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of thought. This post has only reinforced my own belief in the power of positive thinking, kindness and gratitude in our everyday life.

    A Happy Diwali to you and everyone near and dear to you. Wishing them the very best.


    1. I don't think Sophrology got much popularity outside Europe. Alphonso Caycedo is the founder, and while he is from Colombia, he did live in Spain and that is were he began studying Psychology and created the Sophrology techniques.

      Sophrology is a method of guided meditation and relaxation that with practice let the person be in tune with their subconscious and program their own thoughts for success through positive visualisation and autosuggestion.

      Positive thinking in general affects how we perceive the world and how we interact with said world. I'm not entirely sure how that power of manifestation got me all the exams topic I wanted, but I know that in general, if I am convinced a certain outcome is going to happen, I will not let certain obstacles and issues get to me and bring me down because I already have faith that what I am working toward WILL happen.


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