Bob Tamasy: Thoughts About Positive Thinking

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

For years I’ve had mixed feelings about positive thinking. Sorry to sound negative, but positive thinking can take you only so far. For instance, I might think positively about becoming an accomplished jockey, but at nearly 6-foot-2 and over 200 pounds, I’m more than a tad beyond the size limit for that diminutive profession. At the same time, I might desire to be a center in the NBA, but that’s unlikely in the forest of 6-foot-10 and seven-foot giants.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” That’s been the positive thinking mantra. Sometimes it’s right. A friend dreamed about becoming a successful salesman, and that’s what he did. But it took much more than just thinking. It required training, hard work, planning and perseverance, along with determination not to become disheartened by setbacks.

Early in my career as a newspaper editor, I conceived and believed about writing magazine articles – and also a book. I achieved these goals and more. But again, it required diligence, dedication, acquiring the necessary skills, and tenacity to try-try again, even when rejection letters arrived in the mailbox.

So positive thinking’s OK to a point, but it takes a lot more than that.

At the same time, negative thinking can destroy your day before it even gets started. So thinking positively definitely trumps thinking negatively. It’s even recommended for good health. Studies have shown that long-term pessimistic thinking can triple the likelihood of a serious “heart event” or other life-threatening health issues.

The late Zig Ziglar, one of the world’s foremost motivational speakers and writers, talked about people sometimes commenting, ”Zig, I loved your talk, but for me, motivation doesn’t last.” Ziglar always responded, “Bathing doesn’t last either. That’s why I recommend it daily.”

So, is it a matter of thinking happy thoughts, or as the Bobby McFerrin song of decades past suggested, “Don’t worry, be happy”? I’ve found positive thinking works best when it’s based not on wishful thinking, but rather on reality – and reliable promises.

For instance, addressing followers of Jesus in the ancient city of Philippi, the apostle Paul wrote, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

In an age when we’re bombarded by negativity – bad news, reports of gloom and doom, harsh conversations and people just waiting for an excuse to spew their anger – it helps, stating it another way, to accentuate the positive.

As Zig Ziglar advised, I’ve found it useful to make it a habit of meditating on positive, motivational thoughts on a daily basis. And I can’t imagine a greater thought than the promise Jesus left His followers, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

To parrot one of my favorite speakers, “Think about that.”

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 4th Pastoral Anniversary On Aug. 26

Greater Tucker Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate Pastor Gary and First Lady Cathy Hathaway's fourth pastoral anniversary on  Sunday, Aug. 26, starting at  10:45 a.m. The morning speaker will be Pastor Floyd Whiteside. The afternoon speaker will be Pastor Kenneth F. Scaife and New Hope Baptist Church of Dalton. All ... (click for more)

Red Back Hymnal Singing Set For Aug. 19

The Hullander Farm, 10944 London Ln. in Apison will host the monthly Red Back Hymnal Singing on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. "We will be taking a special love offering for police officer Tommy Bradford of Trenton.  He was injured in the high speed chase in Dade County last week, which resulted in the loss of his left leg from the knee down," officials said. The special singers ... (click for more)

City To Delay Proposal To Surplus 3 Buildings Near City Hall

City officials said Tuesday they will delay action on the proposal to surplus three buildings near City Hall. Stacy Richardson, chief of staff to Mayor Andy Berke, said the staff still does not have all the answers to questions raised about the plan. She said the staff is still convinced that moving the buildings to the private market as part of the Innovation District would ... (click for more)

Hearing Delay On Suit Brought By State Democrats To Keep Robin Smith Off Ballot

A hearing has been delayed on a lawsuit brought by the Tennessee Democratic Party seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot in House District 26. Ms. Smith was the only candidate after longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick abruptly announced he was leaving his post to move to Nashville. Chancellor Jeff Atherton on Monday afternoon said he could not take the case until ... (click for more)

Make One Of The Proposed Surplus City Buildings Into A Local History Museum - And Response

The city of Chattanooga currently has no history center or museum. That is because several years ago it was conveyed to the public, in the blinking of an eye, that $9 million that had been raised mysteriously vanished for reasons unexplainable to this date. In the meantime, valuable artifacts and collections are sitting in cellars, basements and storage facilities instead of being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)