Creating a Rationally Positive Attitude


Image of a man with upraised arms facing sunriseWhen you’re discouraged, it’s important to maintain an optimistic,  constructive, benevolent mindset. You do this by staying focused on values.  Such a mindset can be based entirely on the facts of the real world around you, including your own ability to manage your own mind and cope with any intense emotions.  In other words, you can create a rationally positive attitude, not by “faking it until you make it” or by ignoring the negatives in the world, but by understanding and accepting your situation more deeply. I like to say that “accepting reality” means accepting your emotions.  You do this, by logic, self-empathy, and an objective focus on both your own deepest values, and fundamental, rational values.

I’ve written and taught extensively on this issue and people have found it helpful to immerse themselves in this material. On this page, you can read through blog articles, Thinking Lab articles, and access 12+ hours of audio recordings from past Thinking Lab classes.

Note: This page is open to the public, but non-members can access only the blog posts, not the password-protected Thinking Lab articles and recordings.

Blog Articles

How Identifying Three Good Things Each Day Makes Your Life Better

Getting More Emotional Impact from Good Things that Happen in Life

If you don’t have resources for self-awareness, you don’t have resources for anything

Catching What Triggers You

Tackle Tough Long-Term Issues with Three Pages a Day

The Work of Worry

Three Signs You Need to Check Your Premises

Right Brain/Left Brain vs. Conscious/Subconscious

Introspect So You Can Take Action

Use a Physical Process to Release Tension

Distinguishing Feeling Overloaded from Feeling Overwhelmed

You always have a choice

The Alternative to a “No Choice” Rule

Don’t mistake your questions for your choices

Eyes-Wide-Open Decision Making:  An Overview   (See also the three Class Recordings below on different aspects of the Eyes-Wide-Open Decision Making process.)

Thinking Lab Articles

Tactic: Empathy Bath  (See also the Class Recording on the Empathy Bath technique below.)

Accepting Emotions

Exercise: Recalibrating Emotions

Mini-Course: Gaining Objectivity About Emotions

Mini-Course: Developing a Central Purpose

Class Recordings

A description and link to the recording for each of 14 classes can be found below.

This information is only available to members. Log in here.Not a member? Read more and join here.  


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Next Class

4/10 & 4/11 – Thinking Day Doubleheader, 10 – 6 ET

and then

Topic: Exiting a Temptation or Resistance Loop

Tuesday, April 21, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern plus 15 minute Q&A
(12:00 noon Pacific, 1:00 p.m. Mountain, 2:00 p.m. Central)

When you’re caught up in a temptation or resistance loop, it can be difficult to break out, even if you see that your action is self-defeating. How do you exit such a vicious cycle? In this class, you will learn:

  • How to gain objectivity about the loop you are in
  • At which step to break the loop (Hint: It’s not the step you think)
  • Why you need to sidestep self-criticism and embrace your current knowledge, values, and skill as part of the process

This class will explain and present a technique which I have learned from Brooke Castillo, which helps you take purposeful action when it seems impossible. Come with an issue to think about in class. Any task that bogs down in resistance or temptation is a good candidate.

Thinking Lab members receive call-in information for these classes.  Click here to join the Thinking Lab.

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