Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking

Have you ever felt the need to change your life only to find out that every time you try, it does not work out very well?

I am doing some more research on positive thinking and the different methods that can help us get on a good path.


Many years ago, when I started on my positive thinking quest to change my life…. Many, many moons ago… A lady told me that all I had to do was to imagine what I wanted and it would become a reality for me. I tried that. Nothing changed. I sat for hours going through the things I wanted and pretending to live through them, with them and having them. It was like a “feel-good” meditation.

I read many books, participated in groups and talked to a lot of people about positive thinking. Most of the information that I received was very similar.

Out door office in Glastonbury

Out door office in Glastonbury

1) Prepare your space

When I wanted to start a photo business I spoke to a small business owner who told me that all I had to do was to set aside a working table and place all the things that I would need for my business on it. Make a list of how I wanted the business to evolve and how much money I wanted to earn. Sit at the desk and wait for my phone would ring.

It was important that I believed that the phone would ring. He then told me that I did not have to worry about a thing because I would be provided for.

I went home feeling so frustrated and depressed. I had worked as a stock broker a long time ago and I knew that waiting for the phone to ring was not how this was going to happen and I really needed help on how to start a tiny business.

What a bunch of crock and how could anyone have the courage to give such advice? He did not have a competing business and it would not have cost him anything to share a few more concrete tips. Maybe he felt that those were concrete tips. Who knows.

2) Visualise

Another theory that I learned was to close my eyes and visualise what I wanted and then imagine that it had happened. I enjoyed that so much. I finally had an excuse to daydream for hours.

But all that daydreaming or visualising never changed anything in my life. I did feel a lot more relaxed after each session so there was a positive side to this.



3) Write it all down

On one occasion I was told to list my wishes and then write how I saw these different scenarios evolving and changing my life. There is a specific way to to do this and I’m not sure I did that correctly.

The writing helped me see clearly what I wanted in the future. Seeing everything on paper helped me organise my thoughts and I was able to implement some things in my life. I love writing and I journal almost every day.

4) Dream Boards

I went to a fun workshop where we had to do a collage and place certain images that represented our wishes in different parts of the board so that those wishes would come true. The idea was that not only were we making our wishes visual but it was all being done with a very positive vibration.

Since I am an artistic person I had the best time doing this. We ripped out magazine pages, I drew things on some images and people did fun cutouts. I added colors all over and felt so happy at the end of the workshop. But… My specific wishes that were on that board never materialised.


I recently did a very good course called the Science of Well-Being taught by Professor Laurie Santos. It’s an online course developed by Yale University and it was the ideal course for me to take during my most strict isolation days during Covid-19 pandemic.

Each session is very informative and then it’s up to us if we want to research any of the topics a bit more deeply. I chose to research WOOP more deeply and have been using it ever since.

I read the book: Rethinking Positive Thinking by Gabriele Oettingen and learned more about WOOP.

WOOP stands for Wish, Objective, Obstacle, Plan

My Interpretation

I connected with this theory because the author, Ms. Oettingen included the obstacle and then a plan to work with the obstacle and obtain the objective and wish. This meant that I was not going to just sit there and visualise.

This is how I am doing this:

Wish: I think of one thing that I really want to accomplish and I keep the wording simple.

Objective: I go through the specific objectives that I am interested in.

Obstacle: This is the hardest part because it means that I need to be very honest with myself! I then think about the obstacles that I create. I choose the most important ones. Again the idea is to keep this short and simple.

Plan: I create a plan to overcome the obstacle. The idea is to create a “If this then that”

WOOP has an app

I am hooked on the app and it has simplified how I WOOP.

I use the app when I feel that I’m digressing or a little overwhelmed.


Links for you

Book: Rethinking Positive Thinking by Gabriele Oettingen


WOOP app (apple store)

I am not affiliated with anyone!)