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.



Metro Tab Church Hosts Dessert With Bessie

The Neshawn Calloway invites the public to have Dessert with Bessie as they celebrate the Empress of the Blues on  Saturday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m.  The evening will include coffee, dessert, and dancing. You will enjoy some of Bessie Smith’s classics and the second half of the show will feature some of your favorite smooth jazz and old school R&B hits.   The ... (click for more)

Vickie Yohe Sings At Metro Church Sunday

The public is invited to a praise and worship experience featuring gospel legend Vickie Yohe at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Metro Tab Church is a multicultural and non-denominational ministry. It is at 2101 West Shepherd Road.  For more information visit www.metrotab.net or call 894-3377. (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, a former Hamilton County jailer, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

My dear friend, longtime public servant, Mr. Harold Austin, will be greatly missed. He was with the state of Tennessee and Hamilton County for many years. Doyle Ray Marler * * * Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Many Math-Tragic Replies

The reaction to my Sunday story, “90% Can’t Do Math,” was fast and furious yesterday. A surprising number of the replies were from teachers, confirming the fact that only nine percent of the pupils in our Hamilton County Public Schools are getting the education that every taxpayer know will actually shape the lives these students will live. Because my stories are shared on the ... (click for more)