Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work and What To Do Instead

Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work and What To Do Instead


I was excited to get out of bed and start my day. Not for the reasons you might think: I didn’t have an exciting project to sink my teeth into, I wasn’t going on vacation and I wasn’t going shoe shopping.

I was excited about getting on the scale.


I know.

I weigh myself every day. Every. Single. Morning.

I find that when I do it every day, I stay on top of it — I have daily feedback on where I’m at vs where I want to be. This in turn has a direct impact on what I consume, how much I move and so on. It works.

Anyway, back to getting out of bed.

You see, I knew I had “behaved” the day before, and there was a very good chance I had dropped 200-300 gm to finally reach a goal that has been eluding me for several months.

So I was excited to see the number.

There’s nothing quite like starting your day excited, looking forward to something.

Let’s face it. When you’re living a normal life, you may not have exciting projects, a vacation every other day, or the funds to feed a shoe habit on a daily basis.

But you can create, literally create, moments and events that you can look forward to, and get you excited, no matter how small.

I got on the scale, and BINGO! I had hit my goal.

Regardless of what was to come, my day was off to a great start.

These tiny Great Exciting Moments, or GEMs, as I like to think of them, are simple to create.

Here are some examples of feel-good GEMs you can create for yourself:


  • The scale
  • A personal best in walking / running time
  • One more pushup than last week
  • The ultimate smoothie


  • A phone call to a family member or relative (Facebook messenger now has audio and video calls, so you have no excuse)
  • A treat for your significant other or close friend
  • A walk with a neighbour
  • A long chatty email to an old classmate


  • A photo collage representing your word of the week
  • A fabulous quote
  • Learning a few more words in the language you know you should learn
  • Reading an absorbing book that gets you thinking

These are all doable GEMs, and what’s so special about them is that you have complete control over them, and you can action them.

On the other hand, positive thinking, while … ahem, positive, lacks in emotion. It’s all about thinking positive, staying positive by thinking it.

The thing about human nature is that we are moved to action by emotion, not thought.

The fastest way to evoke positive emotion, is to move — literally move — your body and DO something that will in turn create that emotion.

For a double whammy, consider thinking positive AND sprinkling your day with GEMs, especially the first part of the day.

The sense of well being, of winning, amplifies your positive thinking, which makes you feel good, which in turn motivates you to take even more positive action.

And before you know it, you will be skipping around, singing that Happy song.

Annoying as heck to those around you, but oh so good for you.

So. What GEMs are you going to pepper throughout your day?

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