So you’re wondering, what’s up? Everyone knows that Nathan is an advocate of positive thinking, a radiant optimist if there ever was one. Yes, I am and I remain so. Yet I also take pride in being a realistic optimist and in checking out the down side very carefully before I leap into the chasm. I do not blindly plunge forward, I do not paint everything with a rosy hue. I prepare, I plan, I create reserves and back-up plans. I strap on my reserve chute and carefully check my primary. As on a chess board, I am happiest when each critical position is covered in multiple ways. More than once I’ve found myself very grateful for having back-up plans. My positive thinking is never blind optimism. I know it rains in southern California.
I call preparing for the downside common sense, and to me there is nothing in positive thinking that implies that you should ignore the possibility of unpleasant results or fail to prepare for them. Positive thinking simply means that in virtually every situation confidence and verve will serve you better than a hang-dog attitude of defeatism. There is power in being well prepared for negative outcomes. So, yes, put that way, there is a time and a place for “negative thinking.”
“We spend most of our lives in ‘Plan B’.”
“We never attempt what we do not believe to be possible.”
“Plans are useless, planning is invaluable.” – General George Patton; 1885-1945