The New Science of Motivation: RETHINKING POSITIVE THINKING by G. Oettingen


I recently read the book: Rethinking Positive Thinking by Gabrielle Oettingen take a moment and get comfortable in your chair, sit back and fantasize about something that you want. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, imagine developing your business idea and then going on to the show shark tank.

Imagine telling the Sharks how profitable your business has been over the last year and see them all wanting to invest in your great company whatever it is that you want to visualize it and experience it in your mind’s eye.

How does that status? He make you feel doesn’t it make you feel great. Well, I & # 39. Ve got bad news for you. You’re, now less likely to achieve that fantasy. Author Oettingen is a psychologist at New York University and she’s studied the signs of goal achievement for the past 20 years and she’s uncovered a rather startling fact. Positive fantasies lead to lower energy levels, which, in turn, predict lower achievement. In one study, Oettingen found that women who participate in a six-minute visualization exercise lower their blood pressure by 3 to 5 points mimicking the calming effects of smoking.

Half a cigarette when we allow ourselves to have positive fantasies about the future. We trick our subconscious into thinking that we’ve, already achieved that fantasy and cause our subconscious to send a relaxation response throughout the body.

Lowering our blood pressure and reducing our willingness to take action, in other words, positive fantasies, don’t compel you forward, they relax you and slow you down. However, positive thinking does have a few upsides.

One big benefit of positive thinking is that it helps you determine what you really want to achieve in life. When you optimistically visualize an ideal future, you get the opportunity to experience an array of future possibilities and pick the future you most want to pursue positive thinking.

Is a great way to prevent you from pursuing the wrong goal and wasting your effort. So if you want to harness the power of positive thinking and remain motivated here are two scientifically proven mental exercises that you can use to dramatically increase your chances of achieving any the first mental exercise is called mental, contrasting Oettingen dodging discovered the effect of mental contrasting.

When she asked a group of optimistic women in a weight loss program, what they would do if they were tempted with a plate of doughnuts, some women were optimistic about their ability to resist the donuts.

While other women admitted that the donuts would give them terrible. Cravings and they would probably eat a few donuts, despite wanting to stick to their diet. Oh dodging checked back in with the women a year later and saw that the women who were optimistic about their ability to lose weight but allowed themselves to have negative visions of them indulging in donuts lost on average 24 pounds more than the women who remained purely Optimistic about their ability to lose weight, mental contrasting is the act of visualizing, a positive outcome, while simultaneously visualizing an internal struggle that might jeopardize your ability to achieve your goal.

Oettingen has found that when people conduct mental contrasting, they trigger subconscious motivation and take more action towards their goal. How do you jeopardize your ability to achieve your goals? When do you allow yourself to get distracted, and when do you find yourself giving up on your goals in seeking short-term comfort, I often jeopardize my ability to achieve my goals by making excuses to put things off the procrastinate or indulging in comfort food like ice cream.

That give me a spike in blood sugar, but then crash my energy later in the day, making it hard for me to focus on my goals by contrasting an optimistic vision of you succeeding with a vision of you giving up on your goal.

You make the pursuit seem more meaningful to your subconscious, because you’re, acknowledging that you have to struggle to get there. This gets your subconscious motivated and thinking of ways in which it can handle obstacles on the path to success.

Making you more focused resilient and likely to achieve your goal. The second mental exercise that you can leverage to achieve your goals. Much more effectively is implementation intentions. Well, Oettingen was conducting her studies on mental contrasting, her husband Peter goal.

White sir, a fellow psychologist at New York University, was conducting research on a different goal. Achievement technique called implementation intentions. An implementation intention is an explicit statement that declares where, when and how you plan to take specific action towards your goal.

Peter found that students were 40 % more likely to complete their assignments on time if they made an explicit plan as to when where and how they would complete their assignments before hand together, Peter and Gabrielle wondered what, if they combined mental contrasting and implementation intentions, they Ran a study to see if participants were more likely to cut back on an unhealthy snacking habit by using both methods instead of one, they found that the participants who use both mental exercises reported 20 % more progress on cutting back on their snacking habit.

Then the group of people who just did mental contrasting or implementation intentions to make sure this wasn’t a fluke. They conducted many more peer, reviewed studies that all revealed similar results.

They refine the method further and put it together in a goal framework called whoomp. Whoomp stands for whish outcome, obstacle and plan. The first step of whoop is really letting your mind go with a wish of what you want for the future and then scaling that wish back to a feasible action that you could take today to move closer to your ultimate vision.

If you have a health goal, it could be going for a run after work or eating. One serving of vegetables of every meal outcome means focusing on the best possible benefit that you expect to experience after completing the intended action.

This could be balanced or energized or self. Confident obstacle means focusing on the biggest internal obstacle you need to overcome today to fulfill your wish. If your action is feasible, then the only thing that can hold you back from doing that action is an internal obstacle.

We need to be self aware of the ways in which we hold ourselves back. This could be debilitating self-doubt, chronic procrastination or urges to indulge in comfort, food and then finally, plan meaning focusing on when and where you expect to encounter your internal obstacle by writing out an if-then action plan to deal with that internal obstacle.

For example, if I come home tired from work, then I will put on my running shoes and walk outside. I’ve started using whoop to achieve my daily productivity goals. Today’s, productivity wish write the script for my next video best possible outcome feel a strong sense of satisfaction and accomplishment at the end of the day, an internal obstacle I need to wrestle with excuses like I’m too tired, or I don’t feel like doing that right now, my response plan.

If I find myself making excuses to put off writing my script, then I will pull out my iphone and write down three sentences that I can include in my script. So the next time you start fantasizing about the future, make sure you consider situations in which you’ll struggle to achieve your fantasy and then come up with if-then plans to deal with those struggles, while still maintaining a high expectation of success.

That way, you won’t trick your brain into thinking. You’ve, already achieved your goal and you’ll, take much more action. That was the core message that I gathered from rethinking positive thinking by Oettingen.

It’s, a fascinating, read with a very powerful and scientifically proven goal achieve a technique. I highly recommend it if you would like a one-page PDF summary of insights that I gathered from this book.

Just click the link below and I’d be happy to email it to you. If you already subscribe to the free productivity game, email newsletter, this PDF is sitting in your inbox thanks for watching, and I hope you have productive week.

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