Positive Thinking vs Magical Thinking
Our thoughts are a very important part of our being. There are various types of thinking we can relate to: optimism or positive thinking, pessimism or negative thinking, realism or practical thinking, and magical thinking. All these forms of thinking are more of an attitude of the person. Positive thinking and magical thinking, on the surface, may appear very similar.
But there’s a huge difference in action. Positive thinking is the first effort towards a positive step and prepares the individual for a solution oriented approach. Magical thinking, on the other hand, is about positive thoughts attracting positive life without much of the work being done.
Consider there’s a problem related to funds that need to be procured for a business. A person with positive thinking will first give himself or herself the confidence that they can achieve the task within the timeline if they work hard and plan well. This sends the signals to various hormones in their body which stretch them to strategize and plan, and then work on the plan to get the requisite funds. They provide the kinetic energy to make the pendulum swing on its own via potential energy.
A person with magical thinking will work only on the feeling of having the funds and attracting the funds via thinking. There will not be any action but only the thought process. They might go on to create fake cheques in their name or the business name, act as if they have received the funds, and try to attract the positive energy and people towards them. Magical thinking people, most of the times, fail to act. They are more focused on feeling positive part instead of acting positive. This is the biggest difference between magical thinking and positive thinking. While one is limited to thinking, the other thinks on the best course of action to achieve the result.
Another point of content for magical thinking is the belief that things will get alright eventually, only if you believe they will. Compare this to a pessimist, who thinks that things won’t get alright, whether they believe or not. Both the conditions seem very similar, and both are devoid of any real action. Positive thinking, on the other hand, is the stuff of the leaders. The leaders indulge in true positive thinking when they plan work and success not only for them but also for their teams.
They then set out on course to do what they plan to do. While magical thinking struggles to get one person to act, positive thinking sometimes moves a bunch of individuals and even the larger groups. When you are in need of help, you’ll make some efforts to try and grab the attention by whichever means you could. That is positive thinking. If you plan and try to act on it, you won’t simply think that someone is coming to help you and won't try to attract the people towards you.
In simpler terms, the difference between positive thinking and magical thinking is in one word: ACTION!
Short Positive Affirmations
Secrets to Successful Positive Thinking in the Face of Adversity
Role of Magical Thinking in Predicting Negative Effects