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Positivity Is Overrated: How Negative Thinking Can Make Us Happier

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The literature that discusses the power of positive thinking is omnipresent, from the fringe self-help books of the past to the mainstream wisdom of today. It usually goes something like this: If you think good thoughts hard enough, the universe will respond, and those thoughts will ultimately manifest themselves into reality. Written like that it sounds a little bit wonky, but there are plenty of more subtle articulations of that same theme that have become accepted wisdom. And why not? At worst, you might think, being optimistic and positive can’t actually hurt. And maybe, just maybe, there is something to this whole “manifesting good outcomes” thing anyway, right?

Those same people will admonish you when you start scenario planning for what might go wrong. Dwell on everything that might not work out, and it most certainly will not. The old adage attributed to Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right," is often used to explain why entertaining doubt hinders success.

What if I told you, however, that people who think through everything that could go wrong on an endeavor overwhelmingly end up with better outcomes?

Related: How Negativity Can Help Propel You to Success

To any devotee of Rhonda........

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