Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
I read an interesting article from HBR Blog entitled “Stop Being So Postitive“. The article basically states that positive thinking builds a false promise and, in general, positive thinkers tend to take easier and less cumbersome steps towards their goals and make either the same or less progress in achieving attainable wishes. The article isn’t asking us to be Negative Nancy’s, it’s simply recommending we dose a little reality into our positive thinking (they call it mental contrasting). Mental contrasting is “an exercise that brings together our positive fantasy about the future with a visualization of the obstacle standing in the way”. They have developed the tool WOOP: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Path which will help us understand the attainability or unrealistic possibility of a wish. By confronting the potential obstacles head on you are preparing yourself to combat them.
This article is significant because each of us are in the midst of wishing. We are in graduate school trying to create a path for ourselves in the arts management world, which is no small feat. If WOOP actually works now would be a great time to test it so that by the time we all become big and successful in the arts management world, we are in the habit of reviewing potential obstacles each time our organization shoots for a new wish. Maybe you’re awesome and already are; for me it sounds like the distinction between positive thinking and mental contrasting is that for the blogger, positive thinking is simply dreaming.