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English 101 - Essay Example

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Summary
The philosophical orientation of “positive thinking” (PT) assumes that having positive thoughts is beneficial to an individual while positive psychology (PP), founded on grounds of scientific inquiry, is more concerned with testing and establishing the validity of the…
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English 101

Download file to see previous pages... This essay disagrees that being optimistic is a sham and it will support its position by defining PT and PP and discussing their differences.
As a branch of psychology, PP employs effective intervention and empirical understanding towards the achievement of happiness and satisfaction in life as opposed to simply treating mental illness. On the other hand, PT is a mental attitude founded on processes that create and convert the energy of thoughts into reality and drive individuals to expect favorable results. As seen from the video The Secret, this is the first step of understanding that the PT approach to happiness is not a scam. Further, although Ehrenreich (5) criticizes the concept of positive thinking, she also agrees that the practice of thinking in a positive way may not affect the physical world directly but negative thoughts will produce negative outcomes. On their part, positive thoughts such as confidence, contentment and gratitude will impact positively on health with the potential of lengthening lives (Ehrenreich 5). The Secret shows that through the law of attraction, people are able to attract to themselves whatever they think of and want to achieve. Agreeably, a thought in itself will not deliver a happy or successful life to the person thinking. However, it is equally critical to understand that that thought places an individual in the right state of mind to work towards what they want to achieve in life.
In an attempt to show the limitations of the relationship between PT and happiness, PP has also shown that, for example, people who work in suits and those in higher socioeconomic classes are not necessarily happy (Halpern 25). In fact, studies conducted by proponents of PP have also found happy people among those belonging to much lower socioeconomic classes and the marginalized (Seligman 83). From this perspective, PT differs from PP because proponents of PT explain that seemingly successful members of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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