Nick's Notes

Positive Feelings

I read an article in New Scientist recently – it is a recent addition to the magazines at my barber. I don’t need to get my hair cur very often these days, but having free access to New Scientist may make me go more frequently.

In the latest edition Dr. Alia Crum who heads up the Mind and Body Lab at Stanford University was demonstrating that a positive mindset can affect reality. New Scientist was at pains to point out that this is not some New Age thinking but hard science done by a well respected scientist and peer reviewed. And rather like a placebo, even when you know you are consciously and deliberately looking at something in a positive manner the outcome will appear better.

This started me thinking. First the responsibility sits on my shoulders for bad stuff – I’m not thinking positively enough. Fine, I’m used to responsibility, but how widely does this go? Just things directly affecting me or can I affect wider issues – climate change or Brexit to name two I have referenced recently.

Secondly, I started to wonder what on earth I would write about in these blogs. Clearly Apple, but after that I started to struggle a bit. I’m not sure how much you are going to enjoy reading about Mac OS minor updates or the latest iPhone with its infinitesimal improvement over the minus one version. And then if you were not thinking positively enough about what you are reading, would that affect your life materially. We’re back to my responsibility… particularly if you are a Microsoft aficionado.

But seriously, you can think differently about situations. Think about the way sportspeople visualise how a game or a point can go, and some golfers say they see the shot first then execute it. If you think about a meeting and go into it knowing you will get a good outcome, you likely will. If you think you will like someone you probably will.

We can decide how we see things, not just before the event but after. This is getting a bit closer to the New Age stuff that New Scientist dismissed. Sometimes when you review things which seemed bad at the time you realise it helped you into a new course of action – Jeffrey Archer, sorry, is a good example of this – when he went bankrupt her started writing novels that sold in their millions. He now sees that as a good thing – but not at the time. Whether you do depends on your literary tastes.

So this blog will be unrelentingly cheerful from now on. Well, at least until next week.

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