Sat, Dec 8, 2012
On today’s WSJ.com, Oliver Burkeman’s article The Power of Negative Thinking, there are assertions any leader should contemplate upon and decide what to adopt in their lives. The basic premise is that focusing on negative outcomes in thought and action can have beneficial effect. Negative thinking can take several flavors and I subscribe to some of the assertions in the article, to wit:
Negative thinking may be worst case scenario and its consequences, previewing in real life what it would be like to live under the circumstances of failure (wearing the hair shirt for a trial period), examining the value of “defensive pessimism.” Burkeman goes further in having tested in the London underground (subway, in American vocabulary) his fear of embarassment — a single component that can lead people to hold back from following a good path.
And the thesis includes that positive thinking, it is asserted, can backfire. Having rigid goals and plans to achieve them can also be counterproductive. Research indicates that successful entrepreneurs do not have rigid goals and detailed plans (the emphasis on “rigid” and “detailed” is mine).
As I posted on Burkeman’s site:
That’s just my view. What’s yours?
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