Amarantine Volume 4: Expectations! - Page 47

One of the best-known self-help books of all times is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, first published in 1937 and selling over 60 million copies. Although this is a very old book, Hill’s theory became world news many years later in 2006, when Rhonda Byrne turned it into a movie, and into another book: “The Secret”. In short, the theory says that you can expect to have or achieve anything you want, as long as you truly believe that it will happen. But is that really true? Many professors have investigated this question, and the outcome is disappointing. Gabrielle Oettingen, Professor of Psychology in New York, researched the power of positive thinking extensively, and she found that those who truly believed in (eg expected) great outcomes consistently performed worse in reality then those who didn’t. She beliefs that positive thinking lets our brain believe that we have achieved the outcome already, and therefore sabotages our motivation and willingness to actually achieve the goal. Richard J. Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology in the UK, goes even further than that, and beliefs that fantasising about the ideal end situation can lead to perfectionism and fear of failure, which stops us from achieving completely. American Social Psychologist Daniel Merton Wegner, who was a Psychology Professor at Harvard, found that conscious positive thinking actually leads to having more negative thoughts. Volume4 AMARANTINE 47